Ochsner LSU Health Visitor Policy

Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport recognizes the importance and the rights of admitted hospital patients to have visitors. However, for the safety and health of our patients, our team members, and other visitors to our facilities, it is also necessary to impose some limitations on visitor access to our facilities.

We will not restrict, limit or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or lack of a legal relationship to the patient. We recognize the right of each patient to determine whether to allow any visitors and, subject to the general restrictions on visitation within the facility, the right to determine the identity of those visitors. We will work to support each patient’s decision regarding visitation privileges. Each patient will be informed of these visitation rights on admission.

Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport may, from time to time, enact temporary restrictions on facility visitation in order to comply with governmental and/or public health recommendations or requirements, such as during any period of emergency. Any such restrictions will be posted at the main entrance of the facility and may be revised at any time without advance notice.

We reserve the right to restrict any visitor from entry into any Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport facility, to permanently or temporarily bar such visitor from the facility or the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport campus, and to remove any visitor from any Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport facility. The decision to restrict, bar or remove a visitor is a serious one; such a decision should be made only when the visitor’s presence (i) poses a threat to the health or safety of our patients, our team members, or other visitors, (ii) interferes with the delivery of excellent patient care, or (iii) is disruptive to the patient experience or to the orderly functions of the facility.

This policy will be monitored and enforced primarily by the nursing staff, with active support by security; however, as part of our core value commitment to putting patients first, every team member is responsible for supporting this policy, communicating these expectations to visitors, and reporting conduct that does not align with these expectations.

Policy Implementation

General Hospital Visitation

General visiting hours in each Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport hospital are from 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Any overnight support persons who exit the facility outside of visiting hours may be denied re-entry. A maximum of two (2) visitors at one time per hospital inpatient are allowed.

Exceptions to General Visitation

With the approval of the unit supervisor, attending physician, house supervisor, or hospital administration, exceptions may be made to the hours of visitation, the number of permitted visitors, or any other portion of this policy. By way of illustration and not limitation, special consideration will be given to end-of-life situations, births, after-hours admissions, to members of the clergy visiting after hours, and other extenuating circumstances. Any exceptions made will be determined on a case-by-case basis in the discretion of Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport administration, and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport administration reserves the right to revoke any exception at any time, for any reason.

Authorized Entrances Only

Visitors entering the hospital for patient visitation should enter only through the entrance(s) of the hospital designated as public entrances or as directed by signage or security. Visitors are not permitted to enter through the facility’s emergency department, ambulance entrance, loading dock, supply areas, fire exits/ stairwells, or any other area that is not designated as a public entrance. Our team members may enter only through the entrances designated as employee entrances. The number of employee entrances may be reduced at night and on the weekends, as deemed necessary to promote safety and security within the facility. Our team members may not prop open or unlock doors, disable door alarms, bypass access controls, or otherwise allow unauthorized persons to enter through restricted-access areas. Our team members also may not create or permit conditions that facilitate the entry of unauthorized persons into the facility.

Visitor Screenings; Surveillance

All visitors are subject to and must cooperate with screening procedures, which may include sex offender registry and other criminal background screenings, metal detection and weapon screenings, questionnaires, temperature checks, thermal imaging screening, and other basic health screenings and infection control procedures as deemed necessary from time to time. We reserve the right to deny patient visitation privileges to any visitor who presents with a fever or who is exhibiting signs or symptoms of a respiratory illness (such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, etc.) and to any person who refuses to comply with current screening and infection control procedures and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport directives. Visitors may be required to produce a driver’s license or other identification in order to enter the facility. Visitors may be required to wear a mask at all times while present in the facility. All bags, including purses, backpacks, briefcases, and other items, are subject to search. Video and audio surveillance tools are in use at multiple locations throughout the facilities, and the premises are patrolled by Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport security officers and/or police personnel. By entering upon Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport property, all persons expressly consent to such surveillance and monitoring without further notice.

Visitor Behavior Expectations

Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport facilities welcome visitors with the expectation that visitors will bring comfort to our patients. Visitors who are unruly, disruptive, disorderly/ combative, create unrest/agitation for patients, who are ill (or who fail health screening procedures), or who refuse to follow instructions of OLHS personnel (or those of the officers of University Police Department) do not contribute to a healing environment and are therefore not welcome at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport. Such persons are subject to removal from Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport property and temporary or permanent restrictions on future access to our facilities for reasons other than such person’s own health care needs.

Weapons; Illegal Substances; Alcohol

Except for weapons carried by authorized law enforcement authorities and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport security personnel, no other weapons may be brought onto the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport campus. No illegal substances or alcoholic beverages may be brought into any Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport facility.

Overnight Visitors

Outside of visiting hours, one (1) support person may remain with each patient overnight. All overnight support persons must be eighteen (18) years or older. No visitors may remain in the waiting areas overnight.

Children

For infection control and liability reasons, children under the age of 12 are generally not permitted visitors in Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport hospitals (inpatient and outpatient areas) or clinics. Any child under the age of 16 who is in an Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport hospital or clinic must be supervised by an adult at all times. Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport reserves the right to require the production of immunization records of any child for whom visiting privileges are requested. Children who are ill, have fever, or are exhibiting any signs or symptoms of illness may be refused visitation access. Any child who is or becomes disruptive or is not closely supervised may result in both the child and the supervising adult being removed from the facility or clinic.

Outpatient Areas and Clinics

For all outpatient areas (including, without limitation, the Emergency Department) and clinics, a maximum of one (1) adult visitor/ support person is allowed per patient. Children are generally not permitted visitors, and their presence in outpatient areas and clinics is subject to the same restrictions as specified elsewhere in this policy. Exceptions to visitation restrictions for outpatient areas and clinics may be made in the discretion of the department manager/director, the clinic manager, or the supervising/attending physician.


Waiting Areas

A limited number of family members and other visitors may remain in the waiting areas during visiting hours; however, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport may restrict the number of persons allowed to remain in those areas at any time, without advance notice. No visitors may remain in waiting areas overnight.

Personal Items

Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is not responsible for lost or stolen personal items and will not assume responsibility for safekeeping or storage of personal items. Any personal items left unattended in the facility are subject to confiscation and disposal.

Patient Care Discretion

For the health, safety, and privacy of our patients, visiting privileges are subject to being cancelled or delayed at the discretion of the nurse or physician. (For example: patient is undergoing care interventions, infection control issues, or where visitation may interfere with care of the patient or other patients).

Special Care Units

Due to the specific medical needs of the patients, level of care being provided and physical limitations, the following special care units may further restrict visiting hours and place additional restrictions on visitation, for the health and well-being of our patients:
1) Adult and Pediatric ICUs
2) Neonatal ICU
3) Burn Unit
4) Labor Unit
5) Psychiatry/PCU
6) General Pediatric
7) Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
8) Emergency Department
9) Prisoner Patients
Visiting hours and any additional restrictions on visitors/visitation in these units may change from time to time, without further notice, as may be deemed necessary or appropriate by hospital administration or the unit supervisor.

Isolation Patients

Visitors of patients in isolation must follow the instructions provided in Infection Control policies, by isolation signage, and by Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport personnel. Failure to follow those instructions may result in the immediate revocation of visitation privileges.

Grievance

If any patient of the hospital believes that such patient’s visitation rights have been violated, the grievance process is available for review of those concerns. Patients should be directed to the Patient Relations department for the applicable OLHS facility.

Exceptions
Exceptions may be made to this policy in the discretion of the house supervisor, supervising/attending physician, administrator on call, hospital administration, or by the unit supervisor(s), and any exception made may be withdrawn at any time, without further notice. Exceptions should be communicated to Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport security and to other impacted personnel.

Enforcement

Failure to comply with this policy may result in progressive discipline up to and including termination of employment for employees or termination of contract or service for third-party personnel, students, or volunteers.
Visitors who fail to comply with this policy may be removed from the facility and temporarily or permanently barred from visitation in the facility or on the premises, except for the purpose of personally obtaining health care.