Evidence shows that the unrestricted presence and participation of a support person can enhance patient and family satisfaction, because it improves the safety of care. This is especially true in the intensive care unit (ICU), where the patients are usually intubated and cannot speak for themselves. Unrestricted presence of a support person can improve communication, facilitate a better understanding of the patient, advance patient- and family-centered care, and enhance staff satisfaction.

  • ☑ Facilitate unrestricted access of hospitalized patients to a chosen support person (eg, family member, friend, or trusted individual) who is integral to the provision of emotional and social support 24 hours a day, according to patient preference, unless the support person infringes on the rights of others and their safety, or it is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. [Level D]

  • ☑ Ensure that the facility/unit has an approved written practice document...

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