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Visiting/Family Presence

Changing the Concept of Families as Visitors

Patient- and family-centered care places an emphasis on collaborating with patients and families of all ages, at all levels of care, and in all health care settings. Further, it acknowledges that families, however they are defined, are essential to patients' health and well being. Viewing families as allies for quality and safety, and supporting their presence and collaboration in care and decision-making, requires hospitals to change "visiting" policies and provide corresponding education and support for staff.

This section highlights examples of health care systems, health care providers, and patient and family leaders that advance the practice of patient- and family-centered care. Sample articles from the literature, policies, procedures, and guidelines that are changing the concept of families as "visitors" are illustrated.

To equip hospital leaders with the rationale, tools, and support needed to move forward with changing "visiting" policies, the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC) will be launching a new campaign in 2014. Free tools will be available for hospitals that are beginning to think about changing policies—and for hospitals that have already begun the process but would benefit from additional resources.

See what is available now.