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March 5, 2009
For immediate release
Revised Visiting Guidelines for Queen Elizabeth Hospital
“Our patients are our top priority and these updated visiting hours and guidelines are designed to balance the patient needs, while ensuring that health care staff are able to provide the treatment, services and care that is required for their patients,” said Rick Adams, Executive Director of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. “The last visiting guidelines for the QEH were developed in 2003 and needed to be revised to reflect best practices for patient safety and patient care.”
More restrictive guidelines were put in place in June to help control the spread of antibiotic resistant organisms, such as Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE). After months of active surveillance and continuous effort to prevent further transmission, staff and administration are confident that these restrictions can now be lifted. However, in the event of future outbreaks, the public will be asked to follow additional visiting restrictions which will be re-instated if necessary.
“The incidence of antibiotic resistant organisms, such as, MRSA has increased across the country in general,” said Dr. Lei Ang, Medical Microbiologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. “A collaborative effort is required to ensure that visiting guidelines are followed as a measure to protect the health and safety of patients and visitors as well as to prevent spread of infections.”
The new visiting guidelines include :
• General visiting hours remain from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m, and 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
• No more than two visitors at a time (including children).
• Children under the age of 12 are welcome in general nursing units but are restricted in some specialized units.
• Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian, must remain in the patient’s room and be supervised at all times.
• Visitors are asked to keep visits short (15 minutes at a time) and to coordinate visits with other family members and friends.
• Special visitation needs will be assessed by staff on an individual basis.
It is recommended that only close family members or friends visit patients while they are in the hospital. Visitors are asked to check at the information desk for any specific visiting guidelines or restrictions for the unit they are visiting. Visitors must follow any restrictions posted on a patient’s door, including all isolation regulations indicated.
It is extremely important that anyone visiting the hospital clean their hands before and after visiting a patient’s room, unit, and upon entering and leaving the QEH. Alcohol hand rinse stations are available throughout the building for this purpose.
To read more about the visiting guidelines for the QEH, visit www.gov.pe.ca/health.