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'Visiting hours' are not over at a rising number of Michigan hospitals

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

There’s a push underway to get hospitals to do away with restrictive ‘visiting hours’ policies.

Two Michigan hospitals are being cited as successfully doing just that.

The Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care is a Maryland-based group launching a campaign this week to encourage hospitals to give families 24 hour a day access to patients.

Institute president Beverly Johnson says patients need a family member with them at all times when they are in the hospital. 

“They can be their eyes and ears. They can be their partner to help in the transition to home,” says Johnson. 

A recent study found 76% of hospitals have restrictive visiting hours policies.    The number rises to 90% of hospital intensive care units. 

Johnson says Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids and the University of Michigan Health System are among a small, but growing number of hospitals, to successfully do away with restrictive visiting hours policies.

“Having a family member or loved one by the bedside is the norm instead of the exception, in every unit of our hospital,” says Celeste Lee, manager of UH Patient Family Centered Care.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.