In recognition of the important role loved ones play in the healing and coping process, and with careful attention on managing and controlling the spread of COVID-19, BJC HealthCare is launching a less restrictive visitor policy.
The revised policy will allow one visitor per patient in outpatient, inpatient and surgical settings, including medical offices and emergency rooms, with some exceptions for inpatient OB, pediatric and end-of-life patients, where the BJC policy currently allows two visitors.
“We are taking a cautious and measured approach to the gradual return of visitors while maintaining infection prevention measures to protect our patients and our staff,” says Clay Dunagan, MD, BJC senior vice president and chief clinical officer. “At the same time, we are looking ahead to identify any signals of increasing community outbreak that would call for us to reinstitute stricter restrictions again.”
Visitation remains restricted for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients, with some limited exceptions.
Due to vulnerable and high-risk populations in health care settings, extra vigilance around safety and infection prevention will remain critical, even as some of these practices are beginning to relax elsewhere in the community.
All visitors must still pass temperature and symptom screenings and adhere to universal masking requirements.
Patients will still be encouraged to come alone whenever possible or consider virtual visitors when available.
Visitors will be encouraged to limit movement throughout the buildings, practice social distancing when in public spaces, and remain at the bedside as much as possible during their visit.
Visitors will be required to sign in and out of inpatient units.
“This policy change represents another careful step toward balancing abundant caution and patient experience,” says Jennifer Carron, executive director and patient experience officer, BJC HealthCare. “We believe these updates advance our ability to provide much-needed support to patients in our care, while maintaining continued vigilance around infection prevention.”
For more information, visit bjc.org/visitors.
BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. Serving the health care needs of urban, suburban and rural communities, BJC includes 15 hospitals and multiple health service organizations.
Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice. BJC’s nationally recognized academic hospitals, Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, are affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.