Kaiser hospital allows visitors 24 hours a day, patients determine when and who can visit

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

LLH network pressby

Kaiser Permanente’s Moanalua Medical Center & Clinic, citing studies that show patients recover faster if they are surrounded by family and friends, began 24-hour patient visiting hours Monday.

Prior to the new policy, Kaiser Moanalua allowed visitors from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Queen’s Medical Center, the only designated trauma center in the state, allows visitors from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Hawaii Pacific Health’s Straub Clinic & Hospital accepts visitors from 4 to 8 p.m.

Kaiser, the state’s largest health maintenance organization, said Moanalua is the only hospital in Hawaii to offer open visitation hours seven days a week year-round.


The hospital will let patients determine when, who and how many visitors they want. The policy includes children accompanied by an adult. Before Monday, children under 14 were only allowed in the pediatric and mother-baby units.

The new visitation policy is based on research that shows access to family and friends helps quicken recovery, Kaiser said.

“Research shows giving family members and close friends greater access to patients throughout the day helps speed up the recovery and increases satisfaction with the overall treatment process,” Kaiser said in a press release. “In addition, loved ones can provide important information to hospital staff when the patient is unable to communicate.”

What is known as patient family-centered care — the belief that medical providers, patients and their families are partners — has been gaining momentum nationally, added Kaiser spokeswoman Laura Lott.

“It’s just kind of the evolution,” she said. “Every industry is kind of going more towards putting customers at the center of what they do. Our patients are our customers, so we need to understand what a good experience looks like from their point of view. That’s going to deliver better care and make patients happier. If they’re happier they’re going to heal faster.”

The new policy applies to all areas of the hospital, including the intensive care and neonatal intensive care units, though nurses still have authority to determine what is best for patients.

Kaiser Moanalua admitted 11,323 patients in 2012. Kaiser said the hospital has about 20 to 30 after-hours visitors each night. Those visitors were told to go home at 8 p.m. before Monday’s rule change.

Kaiser said it changed the visitation rule in part because of input from a committee of 11 patient volunteers, known as the Patient & Family Centered Care Advisory Council, which provides guidance, ideas and suggestions.

The council, established in July 2012, works with Kaiser staff and providers to improve quality and patient safety.

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