Visitor policy to change today for inpatient settings

by Nebraska Medicine | August 27, 2020

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In an effort to better support hospitalized patients and to promote healing, effective today, inpatients at Nebraska Medical Center and Bellevue Medical Center will be allowed to have one designated visitor. That person must be documented as an authorized visitor in One Chart before arriving to the hospital (see this tip sheet on how to add an authorized visitor).

It's part of Nebraska Medicine's mission to provide extraordinary care to its patients. COVID-19 has created challenges and opportunities to demonstrate that commitment. In that spirit, in late March, leaders decided to restrict visitors in an effort to protect its patients and staff from COVID-19.

"That decision, while necessary, has been very difficult on our inpatients and our teams who care for them," said Sue Nuss, PhD, chief nursing officer.

Beginning today under the new policy, inpatient visiting hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. An alternate visitor also can be documented in One Chart, in the event the designated visitor is unable to visit.

"We made this decision because we want to make sure our patients are supported and we achieve the best outcome possible," Dr. Nuss said. "This change is not designed to open the floodgates for visitors. As much as possible, we will permit one visitor for each inpatient. And if that visitor needs relief, an alternate must be designated."

This change does not impact Nebraska Medicine outpatient areas or emergency departments. Surgery patients can have a visitor after they are admitted to their room. For clinic appointments, Nebraska Medicine still is requiring patients to arrive alone, unless they need an escort for their safety.

Please note the following:

  • Authorized visitors will be required to complete a screening upon arrival
  • Any visitor experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness will not be allowed entry
  • Authorized visitors must wear a mask at all times, either a personal cloth mask or a procedural mask. Gaiters, bandannas and vented masks are not allowed
  • Authorized visitors must remain in the patient's room during their visit

Current visitation guidelines:

  • Adult inpatient - one healthy, designated visitor
  • Pediatric inpatient - two healthy, designated visitors (one at a time)
  • Labor and delivery - one healthy, designated visitor
  • COVID-19 units - video visitation only; exceptions can be made for end-of-life visits
  • COVID-19 Pediatric - one healthy, designated visitor
  • Emergency Department - no visitation; exceptions can be made
  • Outpatient clinics - no escorts unless required for patient's safety
  • Cancer Center/Infusion - no escorts unless required for patient's safety
  • Outpatient surgery/procedures - no visitation, exceptions can be made
  • Outpatient radiology - no visitation, exceptions can be made

View the policy here.

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