Care-Partner-PassAs part of its transformation to a patient- and family-centered organization, HUP changed its visitors policy in April 2011 to allow 24/7 visitation. While improving the patient experience, the change presented a challenge for members of Security: how to differentiate people who had permission to be in the hospital during overnight hours … from those who did not. And the number is not small, said Mary Walton, MSN, MBE, director of Patient/Family Centered Care. “On any given night, between 60 and 70 patients have a support person at the bedside overnight.”

Now, a new initiative -- the Care Partner Pass program -- will clearly identify overnight visitors, with passes that are color-coded according to building (ie, Rhoads is blue, Silverstein is yellow, etc), and have the date, visitor’s name, and patient room number. According to Security director Joe Forte, who worked with Walton and Mauri Sullivan, MSN, RN, clinical director of Medical Nursing, to create the program, it was first piloted in the MICU, CCU, and Rhoads 1, which “helped us streamline and simplify the overall process in many ways.” The updated program kicked off in all patient care units earlier this week, when Forte distributed the overnight visitation passbooks to all nursing units. 

Here’s how it works: If a patient wants a visitor to stay overnight, the patient’s nurse writes the pertinent information on a carbonless sheet in the pass book and the information  transfers to the pass beneath.  The nurse then gives the pass to the care partner (visitor) but the top sheet remains with the pass book, serving as a visitor’s log for Security.  Similar to employee IDs, the pass will clip to a person’s clothing for easy visibility.

To help educate staff on the floors, Nursing created new huddle sheets highlighting the “important role of both clinical nurses and unit secretaries as they welcome and orient care partners to the night shift routine,” said Walton.

At 8 pm, an overhead announcement notifies visitors that all outside doors -– except the main entrance on Ravdin and the emergency entrance -– will be locked.  With the Pass program now in place, “visitors remaining at HUP should have a Care Partner Pass or a pink pass from Women’s Health,” Forte said. 

“I am confident that, working collaboratively, we have established a solid foundation that will help create a safer environment for everyone for years to come.”

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