WEST READING, PA — Effective immediately Tower Health has announced relaxed visitor restrictions policies for all hospitals and outpatient facilities. Visitor guidelines at the Tower Health hospitals are as follows:
- One visitor per patient during regular visiting hours on inpatient hospital units.
- Two visitors for end-of-life patients.
- Two visitors for COVID-19 positive patients at the end-of-life.
- Visitors for COVID-19 positive patients who are not end-of-life, is permitted only by exception based on clinical judgment.
- Parents and guardians of pediatric and NICU patients are permitted.
- Identified times for NICU visitation may be implemented and the number of parents visiting NICU at same time may be limited based on the number of patients and capacity to assure social distancing and protection of patients, staff, and visitors.
- In maternity units one designated support person is permitted.
- In emergency departments and psychiatric emergency departments one designated support person is permitted, with the exception of pediatric patients under the age of 18 in which case both parents or both guardians may be permitted.
The following restrictions apply at all Tower Health Medical Group and Tower Health Urgent Care locations:
- One designated support person is permitted.
- No switching of support persons is permitted during the visit.
- Support persons must remain in the waiting area unless:
- the patient is a minor (under18),
- the patient has a disability,or
- the visitor is the patient’s communicator and in specific cases of interpreter need.
“While limiting visitation during the surge of COVID-19 was the right thing to do to protect our patients and staff, and to conserve our PPE we know it also created an emotional toll on our patients, their loved ones, and the staff who supported patients suffering without family or friends at their sides,” said Mary Agnew, Tower Health Chief Nursing Officer. “With the volume of COVID-19 cases diminishing, we are pleased to be expanding safe visitation for hospitalized patients.”
Family members and significant others are an important part of the patient care team. Research has identified positive patient outcomes related to visitation, including more rapid recovery and decreased length of stay. Hospital visitors can improve patient morale, provide comfort and relief, and supplement care provided by staff. Visitors can reduce patient anxiety and delirium in ICU settings. Family members can also provide detailed information about the patient and ensure smooth transitions between care teams and hospital units. Visitors who are engaged in the care of sick loved ones are also better equipped to take over that care once the patient is discharged.
“In our hospitals, physician offices, urgent care centers, and all other clinical areas Tower Health has implemented rigorous cleaning processes and procedures that meet or exceed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) policies,” Agnew concluded.
For additional information visit towerhealth.org/COVID19.
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