Saskatchewan patients can see family more as health facilities open doors 24-7 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Saskatchewan patients can see family more as health facilities open doors 24-7

May 11, 2016 - 1:43 PM

REGINA - Saskatchewan hospitals and other health-care facilities are opening their doors 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the families of patients.

Health Minister Dustin Duncan says the change recognizes that loved ones are not simply visitors and play an essential role in improving a patient's health.

He says people may have jobs that involve shift work and "it hasn't always been easy" for them to visit between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

"For anybody that's been in the hospital, it's helpful in terms of just their frame of mind and being positive that they have people that care for them look in on them and see how they're doing," Duncan said Wednesday.

"We haven't been able to accommodate everybody just because not everybody could make it during visiting hours. This is just a way to hopefully accommodate people in terms of being checked in on by a loved one."

The province says allowing families more time to visit can lead to increased co-ordination of care with front-line staff, fewer medication errors and fewer readmissions.

Patients will get to decide whether they want visitors 24 hours a day. They will also define who they consider to be family — relatives or other people they are close to.

Duncan said patients sharing rooms may have to work with staff and each other to make some accommodations, such as using a different room or lounge.

"I would say as well that there will be some circumstances where there will still be some restrictions; for example, if there's an outbreak in a facility, where there's a public safety issue, where somebody's in isolation, those sorts of things," he said.

"We'll still be mindful of that in terms of restricting some people's access. But overall the policy is that there are not going to be visiting hour restrictions put on people that are in our facilities."

Duncan said Saskatchewan is the first Canadian province to welcome families around the clock.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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