Family Presence/Visitation

The purpose of this policy is to define and set expectations for family presence with families, guests, and partners in care. Our commitment is in accordance with AU Health’s non-discrimination statement which provides access without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, disability, age, religion, marital status, citizenship, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and/or other legally protected classification.

Guidelines based on the needs of our patients/patients’ families


  • Minor:  'Minor' means any individual who is under the age of 18 years
  • Supervising Adult: A Person over the age of 18 years old that is not the patient.
  • Partners in care: Those individuals the patient deems as integral in the process of caring and recovery from illness (Note: Partners in care may or may not be authorized by law to sign medical consent for procedures).
  • Family: Persons identified by the patient as “a group of individuals with a continuing legal, genetic and/or emotional relationship”.

Family Presence and Visitation Guidelines:

  • Families and other partners in care are welcome 24 hours a day, according to patient preference.
  • At the beginning of the hospital stay, patients are asked to define “family” and “partners in care”; this information is then documented in the patient’s record.
  • The number of people welcomed at the bedside at any one time will be determined in collaboration with caregivers, patient and family without compromising safe delivery of care.
  • Children supervised by an adult are welcomed and are expected to remain with the supervising adult. Children’s behavior is monitored by the responsible adult and the nursing staff to ensure a safe and restful environment for the patient(s).
  • All partners in care and any family and friends of the patient must adhere to the hospital’s infection control policies, which include: absence of any communicable disease, avoiding food storage in patient rooms or waiting room and adherence to transmission-based precautions policies.
  • Family and friends may be restricted to reduce any risks to the patient, including disruptive behavior and unsafe practices.
  • Family presence may be restricted upon leadership endorsement when public health threats are identified as posing significant risk to patients and/or visitors.
  • Patients, their families and friends will be responsible for treating faculty, staff, and students with dignity and respect as part of GR Medical Center’s Patient and Family Centered Care Philosophy.
  • As a consideration for the other patients, an overnight family member or friend in an adult non-private room will be the same sex as the patient.
  • Family presence rights include the right to receive family and friends designated by the patient; including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend. Also included is the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.
  • Family or friends presence may or may not be the patient’s surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative.
  • Family and friends (adults/children) with known symptoms of illness or exposure to common childhood diseases are require to consult with the nurse prior to visiting.
  • Common areas are to be kept neat and clean.
  • All family and partners in care sleeping in the common areas will need to obtain visitor badge as part of security for all.
  • Family presence is open and times are coordinated with the patient parents and caregiver.
  • Suggested family presence hours for caregivers other than primary caregivers are 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily to assure proper rest for the patient.
  • The preferred number of family and friends presence is two (2) per patient at one time.
  • Patients’ and/or family with needs that fall outside of these guidelines may be referred to the Nurse Manager or Charge Nurse.
  • An after-hours visitor’s pass is issued by nursing personnel for any family and friends who stay after recommended visiting hours.
  • After hours passes should be provided to family and friends at 8:00 p.m.
  • Family and friends is determined by the patient or designated representative.
  • Family presence is open and times are coordinated with the patient and caregiver.
  • Family and friends presence after 8:00 p.m. will need to check in at the nurse’s station.