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New Tool Helps Decision-Makers Implement Visitation Policies that Keep People Safe and Together with Essential Family Caregivers

The International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) is pleased to endorse the new decision-making tool to help healthcare leaders implement hospital and nursing home visitation policies that balance safety and infection control with the importance of in-person family presence. 

The free online resource is available at The decision-making framework was developed by a broad stakeholder group convened by Planetree International. Members included nurses, healthcare executives, quality and safety experts, policymakers, patients and family caregivers. 

The decision-making toolkit guides nurse leaders and other users through a process of considering a range of variables when establishing visiting parameters. These include local conditions, resource availability, equity, and current evidence about potential harms and benefits of family presence.

“People being separated from loved ones during a healthcare episode has caused immense suffering. Nurses and other caregivers have also agonized over the impact of these visitation restrictions, struggling with what is the ‘right thing to do,’” said Susan B. Frampton, President of Planetree International. “This decision-making aid provides a structure that can help leaders make these challenging decisions with confidence and can reinstate family caregivers at the bedside of their loved ones.”

Early adopters have praised the clear cut, logical rationale behind the tool and expressed that it helped them to advocate for family presence guidelines that align with their professional obligations and values. Key among the recommendations is the involvement of patients and families to inform any policy decisions. Said one early adopter, “We got some really great insight from our family partner. She was a gut check for us.”

Several early adopters will share their experiences with establishing visitation policies during the pandemic on a free webinar on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 entitled If It Were Your Family What Would You Want? A Balanced and Informed Approach to Reinstating Family Presence. Register at  

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