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Visiting Patients

Porter Medical Center recognizes that families are not “visitors” in the lives of patients, but rather they are essential, valued members of the health care team and their support is vital to patients’ recovery and healing. Therefore, there are no specified visiting hours throughout the organization including inpatient and outpatient areas. Those who are important to the patient are welcomed at any time 24 hours a day, according to the preferences of the patient.

  • The patient may set limitations to family and friend presence in conjunction with their nurse or health care team. When the patient is unable to define family and friends, the patient’s designated representative will provide this definition and make decision who about any limitations to bedside visits.
  • There are no age restrictions. Children and teens are welcome at the bedside. Children 13 years or younger must be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult.
  • The exception is in the Birthing Center, where visitors under the age of 15 are limited to siblings of the new baby in order to limit exposure of an unvaccinated newborn to unnecessary childhood communicable illness.
  • The number of family and friends present is dependent on the needs and comfort of the patient as well as the needs and comfort of the second patient in a semi-private room. Unit nursing staff may have to ask patients and families to limit numbers of family members at the bedside when it impacts the environment of care.
  • When families of patients in semi-private rooms would like to remain at the patients’ bedside overnight, honoring the requests and privacy of both patients is very important. The nurse, with the assistance of the charge nurse or nursing supervisor as needed, will help evaluate the situation and support overnight stays as long as the other patient or other responsible person agrees. Family and friends may be asked to leave a patient’s room when the patient’s roommate requires care, sensitive discussion or at other times where privacy is needed.
  • In the unique event that family and friend presence would need to be limited due to safety or confidentiality, staff will work with the family to resume their presence at the bedside as soon as possible.
  • Building Hours – For safety reasons the Security Department locks and unlocks perimeter doors in all buildings on a daily basis. In general, perimeter doors are locked in the late evening and unlocked in the early morning. Patients and family will be informed of building hours. While the perimeter doors are locked, controlled access is provided as follows:
    • Hospital Campus – 8:00 pm – 6:00 am – Obtain building access through the Emergency Department entrance.
  • Anyone whose presence is disruptive or infringes upon others’ rights, safety or who are medically or therapeutically contraindicated, or legally prohibited from contact will be asked to leave.
  • Families, friends and staff are all expected to adhere to infection prevention policies and guideline.