With Peterborough region now in Stage 3 of provincial reopening, additional family presence will now be permitted throughout the Health Centre
(Peterborough, ON) – In March 2020, in alignment with provincial direction, Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) implemented temporary changes to our family presence/visiting policy as part of our broader enhanced measures to reduce the spread of illness and keep our patients, visitors and healthcare workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While we have limited access to the hospital over the past several months as part of the health system response to COVID-19, PRHC’s family presence/visitor policy has remained one of the least restrictive in the province throughout the pandemic; we have worked hard to balance safety considerations with the care needs of our patients and their families. This included the successful implementation of a virtual visiting program that has provided patients with the option to connect with their families remotely.
With the Peterborough region now in Stage 3 of the provincial reopening, PRHC will be easing our family presence/visitor restrictions effective today as follows:
1. General medical, surgical and mental health inpatient units at PRHC will offer limited family presence/visiting hours on alternating days, from the hours of 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This includes ALC/long-term patients, patients receiving rehabilitation and complex continuing care, and behavioural patients with cognitive/neurological impairment.
- A & C inpatient units will permit a maximum of one (1) designated essential caregiver/family member per patient per day, on odd-numbered days only (e.g. July 21, 23, 25)
- B & D inpatient units will permit a maximum of one (1) designated essential caregiver/family member per patient per day, on even-numbered days only (e.g. July 20, 22, 24)
- Essential caregivers/family members are not permitted to switch out during the same day
2. The following areas of the hospital will continue to have in place unit-specific criteria for essential caregivers/family presence, as described below:
- Labour & Delivery, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatric and Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Unit (CAPU) patients (under the age of 18) will be permitted two (2) designated essential caregivers/family members simultaneously per day. Caregivers/family members are not permitted to switch out during the same day.
- Palliative Care and end-of life patients will be permitted two (2) essential caregivers/family members maximum simultaneously per day. Caregivers/family members are permitted to switch out once during the same day. Additional caregivers/family members may be permitted for end-of-life patients at the discretion of the care team.
- ICU/Critical Care patients will be permitted one (1) essential caregiver/family member maximum per day. Caregivers/family members are permitted to switch out once during the same day. Additional caregivers/family members may be permitted at the discretion of the care team.
- Emergency Department (ED) and Crisis Response Unit (CRU) patients will be permitted one (1) essential caregiver/family member maximum in the following cases:
- Patients experiencing threatened early pregnancy loss.
- Patients requiring resuscitation
- Patients with serious illness who require caregiver presence for assessment/diagnosis/support
- Patients with dementia, delirium, altered mental status of any cause, frailty, disability or limited capacity
All other ED/CRU patients will be permitted one (1) essential caregiver/family member maximum at the discretion of the care team.
- Surgical and procedural patients who require sedation will continue to be permitted one (1) designated essential caregiver/family member for drop-off and pick-up only. This individual will be permitted to return for same-day patients to ensure discharge instructions are communicated and to provide an opportunity to ask questions. Support people will not be permitted to wait inside the hospital or to visit the patient after the surgery/procedure. Wayfinders will be available to take patients to and from the main doors as required.
- Dialysis and Cancer Care outpatients who require medical assistance may require one (1) caregiver to attend for specific appointments, as determined by the care team. Wayfinders will be available to take patients to and from the main hospital entrance as required.
- Ambulatory/outpatient clinic patients will be permitted one (1) essential caregiver/family member maximum per day at the discretion of the care team.
- Diagnostic Imaging (DI) patients who are having an obstetrical ultrasound, sedated procedure, interventional radiology procedure, or who are under the age of 18 will be permitted one (1) essential caregiver/family member maximum. Patients requiring special assistance may be permitted one (1) essential caregiver/family member at the discretion of the care team. For all other diagnostic imaging tests and procedures, essential caregivers/family members will not be permitted at this time due to limited space in waiting areas.
- Patients who are suspected or positive for COVID-19 will be permitted one (1) designated essential caregiver/family member per patient, at the discretion of the care team, including end-of-life patients. The caregiver/family member must not be a household or close contact/caregiver of the patient who is suspected/positive for COVID-19. An individual who meets the criteria outlined above will be screened for the safety of patients and staff, and must safely use personal protective equipment (PPE) as directed by the care team.
What is an essential caregiver?
In the hospital setting, an essential caregiver or care partner is a person who provides support to an individual with limited capacity, an urgent medical condition, age-related issues, disability or chronic health concerns. Caregivers may be family, friends or neighbours, and there is no age requirement to provide care. Young caregivers, adult children, spouses and peers can all provide support. These individuals are considered essential when their presence is deemed beneficial to the assessment, diagnosis, and physical and/or mental health care of the patient.
Visitors coming to the hospital will continue to be screened at both public entrances. Visitors will be asked to wear a mask at all times when in the hospital, including in the patient/bed area, to check in at the nursing station on the patient unit before proceeding to the patient room, and to clean their hands well and frequently while at the hospital.
This policy will remain in effect until further notice. Thank you for your co-operation and diligence as we work together to keep our patients, families and employees safe.
For news, updates, information and resources related to COVID-19, visit our website at: https://www.prhc.on.ca/about-us/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/
For more information: Michelene Ough | Director, Communications | firstname.lastname@example.org