Faced with the overwhelming COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals, health systems, outpatient settings, and long-term care communities felt it was necessary to restrict “visitors” and family members to stop the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of staff, patients, families, and communities. This initial response was understandable given the significant uncertainty which existed at the beginning of the pandemic. However, now, it is crucial for hospitals, health systems, and other settings to revisit their approaches to family presence.

Integrating both the core concepts of patient- and family-centered care and fundamental principles of bioethics, IPFCC developed three tools to facilitate decision-making moving forward – to revisit the restrictions and to recommit to family presence. The tools are included in the resource, Family Presence During A Pandemic: Guidance for Decision-Making.

An article in the NEJM Catalyst outlines the "journey" of Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center to reaffirm family presence policies and practice, using this IPFCC guidance resource. You can also listen to a webinar presented in August 2021 where Luminis Health’s President talks about their experience in recommitting to family presence.

An Iterative Process for Decision-Making Within a Patient- and Family-Centered Ethical Framework