When family members became dissatisfied with a restrictive visiting policy in a combined coronary and medical intensive care unit, this situation was seen as an opportunity to better meet patient and family needs. A review of the literature indicated that open visitation policies enhance patient and family satisfaction, while a survey of patients, families, and health care team members revealed a desire for a more open visitation policy. Nursing staff, with input from other disciplines, developed and implemented a less restrictive visitation policy. Post-intervention surveys revealed higher patient and family satisfaction and a marked decrease in formal complaints.
Staff Nurse, MICU/CCU*
Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Research Health Scientist*
Doctoral Candidate, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
Assistant Professor, Harding University School of Nursing, Searcy, Arkansas
The authors acknowledge the support of the College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Nancy Bishop, BSN, RN, CCRN, Nurse Manager MICU/CCU, and the nursing staff of the MICU/CCU, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock, Arkansas. Any opinions, policies, or conclusions expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Department of Veterans Affairs.