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

  1. 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 the patient’s preference, unless the support person infringes on the rights of others and their safety, or the support person’s presence is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. [level D]

  2. Ensure...

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