Cannon Memorial Hospital Visitor Rights

Policy:  Cannon Memorial Hospital strives to provide a caring environment while recognizing the importance of visitation to our patients, their families, and friends. These guidelines were developed for visitation while considering the following factors: a) the benefits of visitation to the patient; b) the impact of visitation on patient care; and c) the safety and security of patients, visitors, and employees. The following guidelines shall be followed to assure that patients and their visitors achieve a positive visitation experience without compromising patient care, confidentiality, and security.

Statement of Visitation Rights:  Prior to care being provided, the Hospital shall inform each patient at the time he or she is informed of his or her other rights (or his or her Support Person, where appropriate) in writing of:  patient’s visitation rights;  patient’s right to receive the visitors whom he or she designates, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend, without restrictions by the hospital on basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability;  patient’s right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time; and  Justified Clinical Restrictions which may be imposed on a patient’s visitation rights. All visitors designated by the patient (or Support Person where appropriate) shall enjoy visitation privileges that are no more restrictive than those that immediate family members would enjoy.

Visitation Guidelines:  In the hospital, general visiting hours are from 11am to 8:30pm.  Patients are allowed to receive two visitors at a time.  Any visitor under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult.  However, exceptions may be made at the discretion of the charge nurse who has the authority to determine the number of visitors and length of visitation, based on patient needs. Because visiting hours or the number of visitors may be restricted depending on the patient’s condition or type of patient care, visitors are encouraged to inquire about area specific visitation standards.

In order to keep patient rooms and treatment areas in compliance with hygiene standards, we ask that visitors not bring food into patient rooms or treatment areas, except in the event that the caregiver cannot leave the room because of the condition of the patient.  This can be determined by the charge nurse of that specific treatment area.

The Critical Care Unit (CCU) adheres to all of the above visitor guidelines, but because of the extensive care required for these patients, the visiting hours are limited to the times below and only allowed for a total of 15 minutes per hour.  Visitors are welcome to wait in the CCU waiting area until posted visiting hours.

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

1:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Visitors will not be allowed into the recovery area, following a surgical procedure.  Exceptions to this can be made by the charge nurse in critical situations.

Visitors in isolation are subject to isolation guidelines and the patient’s nurse can provide those specifics.

After hours and overnight visitors are allowed at the discretion of the charge nurse.  All visitors entering the building after visiting hours should enter through the Emergency Department and sign in on the visitor’s log.  Overnight accommodations will be provided in the patient’s room for visitors and caregivers based on availability. 

Visitor Conduct: 

Tobacco use is not permitted in the hospital or on hospital grounds.

All weapons are forbidden in the hospital except for on-duty law enforcement personnel.

No photography is allowed in patient care areas, including pictures taken by cellphone.

Visitors are expected to adhere to visiting hours and restrictions.

Visitors should be free from recent exposure to communicable disease without fever or visible signs of illness.  During times of infectious outbreak in the community (ex. Influenza, measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc.) the hospital has the right to restrict visitation. 

Visitors are required to dress appropriately (ex. Shoes must be worn in the hospital at all times.)

Visitors not responding to requests or displaying inappropriate behavior will be referred to the appropriate nursing administrator or local police.

 Visitation Restrictions:  There may be times that it is necessary to restrict patient visitors.  We ask that you comply with these following clinical restrictions and not enter the patient care area during these time:   

  • when the patient is undergoing care interventions;
  • when there may be infection control issues; and
  • when visitation may interfere with the care of other patients.

Other areas where restriction on visitation privileges would be appropriate: 

  • existing court orders restricting contact of which the hospital is aware;
  • disruptive, threatening or violent behavior of any kind;
  • patient need for rest or privacy;
  • limitations on the number of visitations for clinical reasons during a specific period of time;
  • minimum age requirements for child visitors; and
  • patients placed on one-on-one observation for suicide precautions or awaiting commitment to a psychiatric facility.

While this policy is meant as a guideline to ensure that there is family/significant other involvement and an efficient and safe work environment for the staff, there are circumstances in which the visitation regulations will and should be modified according to the official visitor policy.  The nursing supervisor or charge nurse has authority to modify these restrictions as needed. 

Enforcement/Compliance:  All healthcare staff and employees are responsible for the enforcement of this policy.   Employees visiting patients are also subject to the information listed in this document.

Although we strive to create a welcoming atmosphere for our visitors, in the event this does not happen, any visitor or patient complaints related to visitors should be referred immediately to the Charge Nurse, Nurse Manager or Supervisor for action.  If issues cannot be immediately addressed the person may formally issue a complaint by calling the Executive Assistant at extension 1133 or 898-1133 from outside the hospital in accordance with the hospital’s complaint and grievance policy (QOP-GPC-2200)