Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare was recently recognized by the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC) as a Better Together exemplar hospital for excellence in engaging patients and families as partners in patients’ care. One of the key elements of this effort is welcoming patients’ families and loved ones to be with patients 24 hours a day.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is among 12 hospitals named as exemplars, or models, for IPFCC’s just launched Better Together campaign. The campaign aims to educate hospitals about the need to change restrictive visiting policies so that families are no longer treated as “visitors” but seen as essential members of the health care team.
The exemplar hospitals were selected based on certain criteria, including their commitment to welcoming patients’ families and loved ones 24 hours a day and making system-wide changes to accommodate family presence and participation. These changes included addressing staff concerns about new policies, training staff, changing signage and website language to make families feel welcome, and assembling a planning team—including patient and family advisors, doctors, nurses, security personnel, receptionists, and everyone else affected—to lead the effort.
Methodist was also selected by the IPFCC for this recognition because its culture encourages patients’ family members and loved ones to be involved in planning and decision-making and in the transitions to home.