Recognizing that families and caregivers are an integral part of the collaborative care team, healthcare facilities are moving towards adopting family presence policies. Traditionally, families, and caregivers could visit a loved one during the hospitals visiting hours. But how can you tell a valuable member of a care team that they must leave, when they know the patient better than anyone?
Caregivers and health care providers want an easy way to identify and recognize caregivers. In partnership with both caregivers and providers from the Changing CARE teams, The Change Foundation has developed a Caregiver Identification ( ID) visual icon. The icon is used on Caregiver ID cards and by the patient’s bedside in care settings to identify that the patient has a caregiver that he/she consents to be part of his/her care team.
Offering a family caregiver identification initiative is a clear demonstration of an organization’s commitment to caregivers. It’s a visual way to acknowledge and identify family caregivers in health care settings and facilitate their role as a partner with the health care team.
The Caregiver ID and Family Presence Policy in Action
As of June 5, 2018, Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, part of Sinai Health System has been welcoming families and caregivers with 24-hour access to their loved ones. As part of this process, Quiet Hours have been introduced from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. so patients can get the rest they need without restricting access to families and caregivers. Each patient may designate up to two caregivers who are able to stay with them during these Quiet Hours. Family caregivers who stay during Quiet Hours are issued a caregiver badge from security giving them access to the units where their loved ones are staying.
Not only does this change give families the option to stay during Quiet Hours, it gives families the option to visit after 8 pm or before 11 am. For many visitors, those few extra hours are exactly what they need.
The resources included below provide an example of the visual materials that were used to implement the Family Presence Policy program at Bridgepoint. Additionally, the videos share the stories of two caregivers and their experience of what family inclusion meant to them.
Resources Used by Bridgepoint to Support their Family Presence Policy
- Caregiver ID Badge Mock-Up
- Caregiver ID Return Drop Box Sign
- Caregiver ID Long Term Badge
- Caregiver ID Short Term Badge
- Family Presence Elevator Poster
- Family Presence Patient Room Poster
- Family Presence Unit Poster
On January 21, 2020, Mount Sinai Hospital, part of Sinai Health, introduced Quiet Hours to support their Family Presence Policy. The hospital welcomes patients to have someone with them 24 hours a day, while also maintaining a restful environment. During Quiet Hours, a temporary ID badge (a sticker with the caregiver’s photograph) is required for caregivers staying with patients on most floors. Visit Mount Sinai Hospital‘s website for more information and to understand how some units support caregivers differently.
Listen to Stories Caregivers Share About their Experiences of Family Inclusion
These videos share the stories of two caregivers and their experience of what family inclusion meant to them.
To help health providers understand the value of including family caregivers in patient care, we invited local caregivers to tell us how they feel when providers speak with them.
When You Include Me In My Loved Ones Care is a collection of caregiver quotes on the theme, in a booklet format. We presented this booklet to providers to increase their understanding of what caregivers are experiencing when they have a loved one in the hospital due to an addiction or mental illness. We also wanted providers to understand how much value caregivers place on contact with them–caregivers not only feel valued and respected but more confident of a good outcome for their loved one.
When you Include Me in my Loved One’s Care was developed by the Embrace project team.
Including Caregiver ID initiatives as part of Family Presence and Open Visiting Policies in Ontario
Access the Family Presence and Opening Visiting Policies in Ontario Hospitals report and the recorded webinar The Change Foundation and OHA co-hosted for those who wanted to learn more about this research on family presence and open visiting policies, and how Caregiver ID initiatives can play an important role in a family presence culture.
- Ontario Caregiver Organization toolkit: Partners in Care
- Ontario Hospital Association resource collection: Care Partner Presence During COVID
- The Change Foundation
- Caregiver ID resources: The Caregiver Identification (ID) Program and Family Presence Policy
- Report: Family Presence and Opening Visiting Policies in Ontario Hospitals
- e-Learning: Caregivers As Partners
- Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement: Re-Integration of Family Caregivers as Essential Partners in Care in a Time of COVID-19
- Planetree International: Person-Centered Guidelines for Preserving Family Presence in Challenging Times