In-Person Visitation bill has been signed into law, creating Section 408.823, Florida Statutes titled In-person visitation, and may be cited as “No Patient Left Alone Act.”
The Legacy at St. Johns developed the following policy based on this new requirement. The Legacy at St. Johns will provide the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) with a copy of the facility’s visitations policy and procedure with the renewal application and/or change of ownership application. The Legacy at St. Johns will make the visitation policies and procedures available to the agency for review at any time, upon request.
The Legacy at St. Johns will designate the Administrator as the person responsible for ensuring staff adhere to the policies and procedures.
Safety-related policies and procedures are not more stringent than those established for staff of The Legacy at St. Johns and visitors are not required to provide proof of any vaccination or immunization. This policy and procedure allow consensual physical contact between a resident and the visitor.
The Legacy at St. Johns recognizes residents may designate a visitor who is a family member, friend, guardian or other individual as an essential caregiver. The Legacy at St. Johns will allow in-person visitation by the essential caregiver for at least 2 hours daily in addition to any other visitation authorized. The Legacy at St. Johns does not require an essential caregiver to provide necessary care to a resident. The designated essential caregiver will be documented in the resident’s file and updated upon the resident’s request.
Residents are allowed in-person visitation in all the following circumstances, unless the resident objects:
- End-of-life situations.
- A resident who was living with family before being admitted to the provider’s care is struggling with the change in environment and lack of in-person family support.
- The resident is making one or more major medical decisions.
- A resident is experiencing emotional distress or grieving the loss of a friend or family member who recently died.
- A resident needs cueing or encouragement to eat or drink which was previously provided by a family member or caregiver.
- A resident who used to talk and interact with others is seldom speaking.
The Legacy at St. Johns has no limit on the number of visitors per resident. The Legacy at St. Johns may limit the total number of visitors allowed in the facility at any given time based on the ability of staff to safely screen and monitor the space used to accommodate the visitors, and based on adherence to the infection control protocols of physical distancing.
The Legacy at St. Johns welcomes visitors at any time. General visiting hours are between 9am to 9pm. After 9pm, visitors should coordinate with staff for access. There is no limitation on the visitation length.
The Legacy at St. Johns will screen the visitor per the facility’s infection control policy and procedure via the health screen station by the entrance and will document the name of the individual, the date, and time of entry. Visitors who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 or currently meet the criteria for quarantine should not enter The Legacy at St. Johns Infection Control and Education for
Visitors will be provided education on infectious diseases and/or COVID-19 signs and symptoms and The Legacy at St. Johns infection control precautions. Visitors will also be educated on masks (putting it on and off), gowns for PPE (putting it on and off), handwashing, and all other infection control procedures.
This policy does not prohibit visits if the specific resident to be visited is quarantined, tested positive, or showing symptoms of a communicable disease. Visits in these circumstances will require a higher level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) than standard masks. PPE will be provided to the visitor and will be in accordance to the most recent CDC guidance for healthcare workers.
The Legacy at St. Johns does not require visitors to agree in writing to follow the visitation policies and procedures. However, if the visitor has violated the policies and procedures, The Legacy at St. Johns may suspend in-person visitation for the specific individual.