Arizona Hospitals Changing Rules for Visitors

By on February 17, 2021 0 47Views

Visitors have not been allowed at HonorHealth over the past several weeks due to the rising number of hospital admissions. Now that numbers are going down, that is about to change.

Every minute counts.

“Why can’t I spend time? He’s alive right now; I want to be there,” says Whitney Yates. Her father is a patient at Banner Health.

HonorHealth says that is why they have a “level system” when it comes to visitation protocols. They are able to switch levels as cases and hospital admissions drop.

“When we move to less restricted, and we can see family and see how much that means to our patients, it’s a big, big day.”

On Wednesday, HonorHealth is downgrading its visitation level from “restricted” to “concerned.” That means one visitor will be allowed for someone undergoing an outpatient procedure or one visitor per day for an inpatient. In both cases, visitation hours come into play: 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The patient must be COVID-free.

“I think just being able to see your patient really experience that joy is really important and it really does lift their spirits,” says Kim Post with HonorHealth.

HonorHealth says many things are taken into account before allowing visitors. But, not all hospitals are the same. Banner Health is still not allowing anyone to visit, except for end-of-life situations.

“Personally, I feel like I wish I had him in a different hospital. I appreciate everything that all the doctors and nurses at Banner have done for him but, I also know there is a family component that is missing where he is at and other hospitals are allowed to deliver that,” says Yates.

Yates says her father has been in the hospital for nearly two months. He was initially admitted after testing positive for COVID-19 and now, because of complications afterward. Yates has only been able to see him once since then, when doctors thought he wouldn’t make it.

“I truly believe that the moment that I saw him, is when he did the most that he’s done. The nurses were shocked that day at how much he was moving and interacting. I believe it will help with his healing,” says Yates.

Yates hopes more hospitals will take a look at their visitor protocols and realize how much families are struggling.

“They are asking too much from families. To allow their loved ones in a hospital, to potentially pass away by themselves. It’s inhumane; I will not understand,” says Yates.

HonorHealth reminds the public that it screens everyone who walks into the hospital. All visitors must wear a mask the entire time.

Dignity Health is also changing its visitor protocols:

“The safety of our visitors, patients, employees, and physicians remains our highest priority. In keeping with that commitment, Dignity Health hospitals in Arizona continue to adjust visitation guidelines as appropriate in response to the current state of the pandemic within each of our communities. As of Monday, Feb. 15, inpatients at Dignity Health hospitals in Arizona who do not have COVID-19 may have one designated adult visitor per day during visiting hours between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Emergency Department patients who do not have COVID-19 may have one designated visitor 24/7, and patients without COVID-19 who are having a surgery or procedure may have one designated adult visitor prior to and directly after surgery. No visitors are currently allowed in the COVID-19 units (though, exceptions will be made for end-of-life patients). All visitors must undergo a screening upon entering the facility, follow social distancing and masking protocols, and limit their travel to designated areas.”