Alone no more.
A major step this week towards providing for the needs hospital bound patients took place as the New York State Department of Health relaxed COVID rules and allowed family members to visit their hospital bound relatives.
“To the extent possible, given the patient’s health and safety, that of other patients, and hospital operational needs, the hospital must allow at least one individual providing support to the patient,” the new advisory says. “Including but not limited to partner, parent, guardian, other family members, friends or non-hospital employed patient support persons such as doulas or clergy.”
The advisory notes that “These visits are essential and contribute to patients’ physical and emotional well-being and care and must be allowed to the maximum extent possible.”
With the advisory comes a major shift for hospitals, most which have seen sick or ill people left alone in hospitals with only overworked and understaffed nurses and hospital staff.
The practice of not allowing family or visitors during COVID-19 received condemnation from many in the medical field, despite the need to reduce possible infectious contact. The critics noted the importance of family input and support that such visits provide as being crucial to patient recovery.