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Saskatchewan Health Quality Council Announces Open Family Presence Policy in Saskatchewan's Health Facilities

Saskatchewan Health Quality Council

Saskatchewan is the first Canadian province to announce an open family presence policy across all its health care facilities.

According to the May 11, 2016, Saskatchewan Health Quality Council press release, "Health regions are now moving toward more flexible visiting hours in health facilities, which will welcome families 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to the patient’s preference. The approach recognizes that families are important partners in patient care, and are not simply visitors. The patient will define who comprises their family, such as relatives or other people they are close to."

Saskatchewan Health Minister Duncan stated, "This is a great example of improving the patient experience, and we support it 100 percent. Loved ones play an essential role in improving patients' health, and help further our goal of providing high-quality, patient-focused care. To me, this policy change is an easy one to make."

According to patient and family advisor Serese Selanders, "If I had been allowed to be at my mom's bedside on my own terms, I would not have felt as much anxiety. The time left with my mom was measured in days. Every hour that we were prevented from seeing her was time we will never get back. Open family presence will change health care by helping everyone recognize that the 'team' includes families and loved ones."

Better Together

Learn more about IPFCC's Better Together: Partnering with Families international campaign launched in 2014, designed to change visiting policies in 1,000 hospitals by 2017. As part of the campaign, IPFCC developed a free online toolkit of materials for hospitals. The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) launched a national Canadian campaign in 2015, Better Together: Partnering with Families Campaign, based on IPFCC's Campaign.