Visitor Policy Change for Baystate Health
We are changing our hospital visitation policy during this flu season to reduce patient and employee exposure to flu in our hospitals.
- Baystate Health hospitals do not allow visitors under the age of 14.
- No more than two visitors at a time are recommended per patient.
- Visitors should be limited to those essential to the patient’s comfort and wellbeing.
We are also changing our visitation policy for all waiting rooms and outpatient settings.
- Patients should come to appointments alone or be accompanied by just one other person, if needed.
- We discourage patients from bringing children to their appointments with them.
Why did we make this change?
We have these restrictions in place because fewer visitors and guests in our hospitals and waiting rooms will reduce flu exposure for everyone. Children are a focus because they are more likely to transmit the flu to others and to be affected by influenza themselves.
We understand the impact these restrictions may have on families and their loved ones in the hospital, but feel strongly about giving our patients the safest possible care environment. We join other hospitals throughout the state in restricting visitors to help reduce the spread of influenza. Our visitation policy will be reviewed through the flu season to determine when the restriction can be lifted.
Open Visiting Hours
Our philosophy of care involves the patient and family as one, and we include the family as part of the patient care team as much as possible. For this reason, we have open visiting hours. The family includes anyone important to the patient.
Since visiting can be tiring to patients, we ask that visitors be sensitive to this by limiting the length of a visit and the number of people visiting.
Children with adult supervision are welcome. We ask that visitors be as quiet as possible while walking in the halls or visiting patients in semi-private rooms so that other patients are not disturbed. Visits may be temporarily interrupted at times for patient care, but visitors are invited back to the bedside as soon as possible.
Visitors should report to the nurse's station if there is an isolation sign on the door.
The signs are color coded:
- GREEN is for contact isolation. This is for germs that can be passed on hands and supplies. Health care workers will wear gloves and sometimes blue gowns.
- ORANGE is for droplet isolation. This is for germs than can be coughed or sneezed out. Health care workers will wear a mask and eyewear; the door to the room can be open.
- PINK is for airborne isolation. This is for germs that can be passed in the air. The door to the room will be closed and health care workers will wear masks.
The nurse will explain to the visitor what they need to do to visit. There may be times when only family members and those who live with you are allowed to visit. Your nurse or doctor can tell you about any special visiting rules that apply to you.