Questions Raised Over Hospital Visitation Policies

Aug 1, 2013

Some advocacy groups in New York State have issued a report critical of several hospitals including two in our area when it comes to deciding who can be at a patient's bedside.

The report was issued by the New York Public Interest Research Group, New Yorkers for Patient and  Family Empowerment and Lambda Legal, which is a civil rights group representing the LGBT community.

The report named two local hospitals among nine statewide---Rochester General and Unity--as being out of compliance with state and federal law on patients' rights regarding who can visit when they're hospitalized.

Lambda Deputy Legal Director Hayley Gorenberg says she understands why hospitals do have the right to have some restrictions in place when it comes to patient visitation.

"So you could restrict the time, and you could restrict the number as necessary for patient treatment and health,  but to restrict who that patient can have visiting them, and not observe their wishes so that they can have their loved ones with them, that's the problem."

Rochester General sent out a statement saying that they have an open visitation policy, that may not be clearly defined on all parts of their website. RGH it will adjust the language to more accurately reflect their policies.

Unity Hospital responded by saying that the information for visitors is intended to be used as a general guideline, and the information on their website has been revised to more clearly reflect the hospital's patient-centered approach.