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Visitor restriction policies and practices in children’s hospitals in North America: results of an Emerging Infections Network Survey

  • Alice L. Pong (a1) (a2), Susan E. Beekmann (a3), Mekleet M. Faltamo (a4), Philip M. Polgreen (a3) (a5) and Andi L. Shane (a6) (a7)...

Abstract

Objective

To delineate the timing of, indications for, and assessment of visitor restriction policies and practices (VRPP) in pediatric facilities.

Design

An electronic survey to characterize VRPP in pediatric healthcare facilities.

Methods

The Infectious Diseases Society of America Emerging Infections Network surveyed 334 pediatric infectious disease consultants via an electronic link. Descriptive analyses were performed.

Results

A total of 170 eligible respondents completed a survey between 12 July and August 15, 2016, for a 51% response rate. Of the 104 respondents (61%) familiar with their VRPP, 92 (88%) had VRPP in all inpatient units. The respondents reported age-based VRPP (74%) symptom-based VRPP (97%), and outbreak-specific VRPP (75%). Symptom-based VRPP were reported to be seasonal by 24% of respondents and to be implemented year-round according to 70% of respondents. According to the respondents, communication of VRPP to families occurred at admission (87%) and through signage in care areas (64%), while communication of VRPP to staff occurred by email (77%), by meetings (55%), and by signage in staff-only areas (49%). Respondents reported that enforcement of VRPP was the responsibility of nursing (80%), registration clerks (58%), unit clerks (53%), the infection prevention team (31%), or clinicians 16 (16%). They also reported that the effectiveness of VRPP was assessed through active surveillance of hospital acquired respiratory infections (62%), through active surveillance of healthcare worker exposures (28%) and through patient/family satisfaction assessments (29%).

Conclusion

Visitor restriction policies and practices vary in scope, implementation, enforcement, and physician awareness in pediatric facilities. A prospective multisite evaluation of outcomes would facilitate the adoption of uniform guidance.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Alice Pong, MD, 3020 Children’s Way, MC 5041, San Diego, CA 92123. E-mail: apong@rchsd.org

References

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