Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

The Impact of Opening Visitation Access on Patient and Family Experience

Nuss, Terri MS, MBA; Kelly, Kecia M. DNP, MBA-HCM, BSN, RN, NEA-BC; Campbell, Karen R. RN, CCRN; Pierce, Cathy BS, RN; Entzminger, Janna K. BSN, RN, CPHQ; Blair, Brenda K. BS; Wissinger, Laurie MBA, MT(ASCP); Bryant, Lona MSN, RN; Walker, Janice L. MBA-HCM, BSN, RN, NEA-BC

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: July/August 2014 - Volume 44 - Issue 7/8 - p 403–410
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000090

Restrictive visiting hours have been an obstacle to family participation in care. To support increased and consistent access to patients, Baylor Health Care System implemented a system-wide approach to open access for visitation across all facilities. Nursing and medical leadership led the communication efforts, and shared nursing governance guided revisions to existing policies. Data collected from 13 hospitals demonstrated that patients and families felt more informed; that the nursing staff were more courteous and respectful and explained things in a way that could be understood; that the staff attitude toward visitors was markedly improved; and that comfort and accommodations for guests were extended and improved. The resources needed to deploy these changes are outlined as well as the iterative process needed to create a positive impact on the family partnership in care.

Supplemental digital content is available in the text.

Author Affiliations: Vice President, Patient Centeredness (Ms Nuss); Director, Maternal Newborn NICU Services (Ms Kelly); Training Manager, Office of Patient Centeredness (Ms Pierce); Quality Process Improvement Consultant (Ms Entzminger); Quality Improvement Coach (Ms Blair); Director of the Office of Patient Centeredness and Patient Centered Informatics (Ms Wissinger); Quality Improvement Consultant (Ms Bryant); Office of Patient Centeredness, Baylor Health Care System, Dallas; Registered Nurse (Ms Campbell), Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine, Grapevine; and Chief Nursing Officer (Ms Walker), Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas.

Ms Kelly is now with the Medical Center of Lewisville, Texas.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Ms Nuss, Patient Centeredness, Baylor Health Care System, 8080 N Central Expy, Ste 500, Lock Box 81, Dallas, TX 75206 (

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins