Family-Centered Care in the Pediatric Post Anesthesia Care Unit: Changing Practice to Promote Parental Visitation

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Although parental visitation in the PACU is the standard of care in a few institutions, it is surprisingly not a standard of care at most. Parental presence in the PACU at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was historically inconsistent and limited. It was recognized that consistent and relatively unlimited parental presence in the PACU was needed to better meet the CHOP commitment to provide family-centered care. Under the leadership of the Family Services Coordinators and the Perioperative Family-Centered Care Committee, staff worked to promote parental visitation in the PACU. Through education, multidisciplinary collaboration, ongoing support, and dissemination of data, parental visitation in the PACU increased from 44% in January 2004 to 90% in January 2007. This report addresses parental visitation in the PACU, as well as quality improvement strategies to promote this valuable family-centered practice.

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