DR. MITCH: Extended Visiting Hours for Patients: A Change Whose Time Has Come

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement has a mission. They want hospitals all across Canada to allow patients to have visitors for extended hours. Why?

They claim that it improves patient care.  If any of you have been in the position of having a loved one in the hospital you know how right they are. Especially in our current situation where there have been significant reductions in the number of staff available to take care of patients on the wards, the presence of a family member to bring a glass of water or help the patient sit up makes a huge difference.

Studies have shown that not only is patient care improved, but mistakes are less likely to happen, patients are less likely to fall. What you might not have expected is the fact that patients are also less likely to have to return to the hospital after discharge. Involving the family in their care means that the transition to being at home is less likely to run into problems because the family has already some experience with what to do and what to expect.

Work has shown that noise and infection rates are not an issue.

So why haven’t more hospitals signed on? You’ll have to ask them but if you want more information to support you when you make the plea to the hospital to extend its visiting hours, please visit the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement website.