A recent survey conducted on several New York hospitals scores St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center at the bottom in presenting clear information regarding visitation policies.
Visitation policies were reviewed at 99 New York hospitals with 200 or more beds statewide. The survey, conducted by New Yorkers for Patient & Family Empowerment, a joint project of the nonprofits New York Public Interest Research Group and the Center for Justice Democracy, reviewed website information on visitation as well as flexibility in visitation and awarded a 0-10 score, with 10 being the highest.
St. Catherine’s, along with seven other hospitals received a website score of 0, due largely to unclear visitation policies.
Policies regarding children’s visitation at the hospital was “very unclear” according to the survey. According to the report, no statement on children visitation can be found on the website and answers varied when calls were made to the hospital regarding children. On one call, it was stated, that children under 13 were generally prohibited, but “it depended on the floor”. The survey cited another call where the caller was told “the hospital is much more flexible about this now.”
The survey indicated that more clear information should be able to be obtained.
The survey also noted that the hospital offers seven hours or less of visiting time for patients and does not offer an open visitation policy.
Chris Hendriks, spokeswoman for Catholic Health Services, which includes St. Catherine's said the hospital ensures that patient’s rights for visitation are respected.
“Each and every patient is afforded full and equal rights to choose whom they want by their bedside during times of illness,” said Hendricks. “Visitation rights are not restricted, limited or denied on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.” She did not indicate if they hospital would be making any changes to its policies or website.
The survey also faulted the hospital for having seven hours or less of visiting time for patients.
“Our staff encourages visitors to assist in the health promotion and healing process of our patients,” said Hendricks. “In addition, St. Catherine offers nine hours in which visitors can see patients and does everything possible to accommodate special requests.”