Patient, Family & Caregiver Experience

Updated  June 13, 2022 – these guidelines are subject to change.

Prior to entry, all individuals are required to complete active screening for COVID-19 and are to follow all appropriate infection prevention and control guidelines.

Family members and essential caregivers must always wear the surgical grade mask provided.

Family members and essential caregivers should not come to the hospital if they:

  • Are feeling unwell
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Have been tested for COVID-19 with results unknown. Note: patients coming to the hospital for testing before a procedure will be permitted to come to the hospital
  • Have had close contact with a confirmed or suspect case of COVID-19 and are following public health isolation guidelines 

Definitions (for the purpose of these guidelines)

  • Family/Essential Caregiver: Designated by the patient and can be a family member, guardian, friend and/or neighbour who provides support, assistance and/or care in any capacity.
  • Palliative Patient: Is a patient with a life threatening diagnosis who is receiving specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms.
  • Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Children age 3 years and older are required to wear a mask upon entry and for the duration of the visit.

HPHA recognizes the importance of family and essential caregiver presence for the health and well-being of our patients. However, a unit in COVID-19 outbreak requires additional safety precautions to be in place based on direction from Public Health, which could result in the hospital limiting family and essential caregiver presence.

Family & Essential Caregiver Presence 

  • Inpatients: HPHA supports up to two (2) family members or essential caregivers daily during the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; these individuals may visit at the same time. *Exception may be given for support partners/persons arriving outside these hours within the Maternal/Child Unit.
  • Patients imminently approaching end-of-life: HPHA supports family members or caregiver(s) to be present 24/7; number at bedside will be determined based on ability to physically distance, generally no more than two (2) at a time.
  • Emergency Department: HPHA supports one (1) family member or essential caregiver to accompany an adult patient; two (2) parents/guardians may accompany children and infants.
  • Birthing Person: HPHA supports two (2) support partners/persons.
  • *Community Outpatient Procedures and Clinic Appointments: HPHA supports one (1) family member or essential caregiver to accompany an adult patient; two (2) parents/guardians may accompany children and infants. 

*To limit crowding in waiting spaces, adult patients that are not in need of support are encouraged to attend their appointment or outpatient procedure independently.

Outdoor Visiting

For patients who can be safely transported by a family member or essential caregiver, outdoor visits can be arranged with the unit where the patient is receiving care.

While in the Hospital

  • Please stay in your loved one’s room until you are ready to leave.
  • Food and/or beverages are not to be consumed in a patient’s room or in patient care areas by family and caregivers. 
  • Designated areas are available to purchase and consume meals and snacks.
  • Please do not use the patient washroom. Public washrooms are available; inquire with the unit where the patient is receiving care for locations.

Food and Personal Items for Patients

  • Prior to bringing in food for the patient, family and essential caregivers should discuss any dietary restrictions with the patient’s care team. All food containers must be disposed of or taken home.
  • Chemotherapy patients may bring their own food and drink to their appointment.

To maintain Infection Prevention and Control standards and the safety of our staff and patients, please bring only the listed items below to the hospital for patients.

  • glasses, hearing aids and dentures
  • mobility items (canes, walkers, wheelchairs)
  • new toiletries only
  • new grooming items – toothbrushes, combs and hair brushes
  • personal items- books, magazines, puzzle books, family photos etc.
  • mobile phone/tablet,
  • clean clothing and footwear
  • Please direct requests for special items to the Manager of the Unit where the patient is receiving care.

HPHA will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation locally and may be required to change/update our Family & Essential Caregiver presence guidelines in response to local COVID-19 activity. We thank you for your patience and support.

Concerns Related to HPHA Family & Essential Caregiver Guidelines

As a first step, we encourage you to speak with the Manager of the unit where the patient is receiving care.

If you feel your question or concern requires further attention, please contact the Corporate Lead, Patient Experience & Privacy by phone: 1-888-275-1112 Ext. 2423 or email: patientexperience2@hpha.ca

These guidelines have been reviewed and endorsed by our Patient & Family Caregiver Partners.