Hospitals across the country are joining a movement toward introducing 24/7 visiting hours.
Health care organizations have already joined the Better Together campaign calling for more inclusive family-presence policies at hospitals – but Saskatchewan has had that policy in place since March of last year.
Malori Keller is the Patient Engagement Lead for the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council.
She says allowing families to visit patients 24/7 is good for a patient’s recovery.
“It was a disadvantage to patients and their families, says Keller. “In the morning, patents are meeting with providers and physicians – getting information which may be vital to being discharged. As a patient, you are alone and there may still be a lot of questions unanswered. Providers would then have to follow up with family later in the day. But by being present at any time, a family member might be able to better support patients to heal faster, and therefore, be discharged faster.”
Keller says what sets this province apart from the rest, is a collaborative approach
“We initiated work on this in 2015,” says Keller.
“That’s when the policy was actually drafted. It was approved and implementation began in 2016. Effective March 31, 2016, we had all the health regions working on implementation. They are all at various stages, but they have all adopted the policy. Saskatchewan is defnitily looked to as a leader for Open Family Presence,”
Keller says within Canada, as well as internationally, there has been good feedback on Saskatchewan’s results.
“Both here within Canada, as well as internationally. We’ve had great feedback from our colleagues in the UK as well as across the United States. They’re looking towards Saskatchewan to see how we all managed to work together, rather than doing this one hospital at a time,” says Keller.
“I think this just shows Saskatchewan is a very collaborative province. We listen to patients and families – it was those people who said they wanted better access to family members regardless of what health region they are in.”