DANVILLE, PA. - Geisinger Medical Center recently opened its doors to round-the-clock visitors.
Patients can have up to two visitors at their bedside from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and one visitor from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
“Studies have shown that the presence of family and friends soothes the patient and relaxes them,” Geisinger Chief Nursing Officer Susan Hallick, RN said. “Expanding our visiting hours helps make the patient feel better. It also gives friends and family more opportunities to participate in the care of their loved ones.”
The new policy applies to all open departments at Geisinger Medical Center. Geisinger Wyoming Valley will start a similar policy by summer and Geisinger South Wilkes- Barre will launch an open visitation policy by the end of the year.
“The new policy means families and friends of patients who have different work schedules or lifestyles can visit at more convenient times, Geisinger Intensive Care Unit Operations Manager Angelo Venditti, RN said. “With more hours, people can come when they want.”
Geisinger Medical Center’s ICU has had open visitation since 2003. Before the open visitation, Venditti said there would be certain peak times when many people visited the unit all at once.
Hospital-wide open visitation helps reduce overcrowding and makes it less hectic for staff, Vendetti said.