The purpose of this communication is to define visitation practices for end of life situations.
- Visitor screening
guidelines must be met prior to entering the hospital.
- All visitors will be screened for symptoms, exposure, and travel history related to COVID-19.
- Visitors will be asked to leave the facility if they have had symptoms or any known exposure(s) in the last 14 days.
- Permitted visitors include the immediate family, e.g., spouse, children, significant other, guardian.
- No more than
three (3) immediate family members will be allowed in the patient room at one
- Immediate family members may alternate so that other family members can visit the patient.
- Immediate family members not in the patient room must wait in designated space determined by the facility.
- Visitors must wash their hands or use hospital-provided hand sanitizer both before and after leaving rooms and hospital buildings
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- To enter the
patient room, immediate family must don PPE as appropriate to the patient’s
current Infection Control precautions.
- If the patient is intubated, PPE includes gown, N95 mask, goggles or face shield, and gloves.
- If the patient is not intubated, PPE includes gown, isolation mask, goggles or face shield, and gloves.
- A nurse must watch visitors don and doff PPE and assist as needed.
- Staff must collect and clean PPE per protocol and collect N95 masks for reprocessing.
- Hospice consultation/conversations with family members should occur by phone call or by face-to-face visit with appropriate PPE attire in each unit’s specific location.
- Each unit must identify a specific location in which end of life discussions with family members will occur (within or near the unit).
- If appropriate to patient’s clinical status and wishes, immediate family in the patient room may utilize personal cell phone/technology to connect patient with other family members.
- Click here to access a PDF of COVID Communication Skills: A Playbook of VitalTalk Tips, which offers practical advice for health professionals having hard conversations with patients and families related to COVID-19