Hospital visitors are an important part of the healing process and care transitions planning for patients. They can help educate the care team, provide consistent communication and be an advocate for the patient. Having a visitor at the bedside ultimately eases the anxiety and fear of the patient and family and leads to a better healing environment.
Infection prevention and control practices that protect the well-being of patients and staff, while rationing personal protective equipment, necessitate restricting visitors during the coronavirus pandemic. Policies may vary from hospital to hospital depending on the spread of the disease in the community, region and state; the type of care provided and the conditions for which the patient is being treated; the patient population and subsequent rick factors; and adequacy of space, supplies, staff and testing capability.
Using the references and resources below, the Missouri Hospital Association encourages hospitals to critically review their current and future visitor policies to determine which phase is most appropriate.