The Impact of Opening Visitation Access on Patient and Family Experience

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Restrictive visiting hours have been an obstacle to family participation in care. To support increased and consistent access to patients, Baylor Health Care System implemented a system-wide approach to open access for visitation across all facilities. Nursing and medical leadership led the communication efforts, and shared nursing governance guided revisions to existing policies. Data collected from 13 hospitals demonstrated that patients and families felt more informed; that the nursing staff were more courteous and respectful and explained things in a way that could be understood; that the staff attitude toward visitors was markedly improved; and that comfort and accommodations for guests were extended and improved. The resources needed to deploy these changes are outlined as well as the iterative process needed to create a positive impact on the family partnership in care.

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