New Visitation Guidelines for Visitors and Support Persons

July 14, 2020

The Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital (PSFDH) recognizes that visitors and support persons are essential to the health and well-being of our patients and are an important part of the healing process.

Visitor restrictions were implemented in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario per the direction of the Ontario Medical Officer of Health.

The current policy at PSFDH for visitors and support persons attempts to balance the safety of our patients, staff, and physicians while providing the best possible access to the hospital by our community. At this time, one visitor or support person is allowed for:

• Patients receiving palliative care at the end stages of life
• Patients who are critically ill in Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
• Patients who have been admitted for longer than 2 weeks of stay
• Partner (or support person) for a patient in labour or with a complex obstetrical diagnosis
• Patients requiring assistance with rehabilitation
• Patients undergoing surgery, dialysis, or attending the Medical Day Unit who require assistance of a support person
• Patients who require assistance of a support person (e.g. children under 16 years, patients with dementia, developmental or physical challenges)

These guidelines apply to the Emergency Departments, Outpatient Departments, Inpatient Departments and Diagnostic Imaging Departments.

Entry to the PSFDH continues to be restricted to specific entry locations, which includes the Emergency Department entrances at both the Great War Memorial (GWM) and Smiths Falls sites as well as a second entry point at the main entrance of the GWM site (Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Visitor Guidelines:
• All visitors must successfully pass COVID-19 screening at the hospital entrance and must be escorted by a staff member to the location where the patient is located.
• All visitors must sanitize their hands when entering and leaving the hospital and the care area. Social distancing should be maintained at all times.
• All visitors/support persons must wear a mask at all times when in the hospital.
• Visits must be pre-planned with the charge nurse of the care unit to ensure timeliness of visit with only one visitor at a time (to ensure social distancing).
• Visitors will also be asked to sign in and out when they enter and leave the care area with contact information. (In the case of extenuating circumstances, overnight stays and more than one visitor may be permitted.)

It is requested that visitors only come during the day and to keep visitations to one family member, if possible. If multiple family members are requesting to visit, please discuss with the nursing staff.

As always, virtual visits are encouraged and welcomed. Patients and families can connect online using their personal communication devices (phone, tablet, etc.).

Unfortunately, items such as food or gifts are not permitted at this time. Essential items that are permitted are as follows (please ensure items are brought in a zip-top bag, if possible):
• Glasses
• Hearing aids, Hearing Aid Batteries
• Dentures, Denture Adhesive, Denture Cleaner
• Medications
• Shoes for rehabilitation and Socks
• Clothes on the day of discharge (no earlier)
• Communication device such as iPad, tablet, laptop, cell phone or similar (items that staff can wipe down) [Don’t forget the charging cord]. PSFDH has WiFi connection for the patients to use.
• Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Shampoo
• Electric Shaver
• Pen
• Comb or Brush
• Walking Aids
• CPAP Machines

Please note that the items brought to patients must be “wipe-able” to support our stringent infection control practices. This is to keep the patients and the staff safe.

Thank you to the community for your patience, understanding and adherence to the visitor guidelines. Please note that our visitor guidelines and practices will continue to be monitored and change as the hospital continues to implement a carefully thought out and measured approach focusing on safety and quality of care.