Equal Visitation Resources
Approaches to offering this critical guarantee include:
- Prohibiting discrimination in visitation based on sexual orientation or gender identity, either explicitly within the visitation policy or by linking or making reference to an explicitly LGBTQ-inclusive patient non-discrimination policy
- Including (or linking or making direct reference to) an explicitly LGBTQ-inclusive definition of “family”
- Making an explicit reference to equal visitation for same-sex couples and same-sex parents
- Noting explicitly that patients may designate the visitor(s) of their choice
See templates that include sample language for each of these approaches.
See examples of how various healthcare organizations' visitation policies meet the HEI Equal Visitation criterion.
Communicating your equal visitation policy to patients is just as, if not more important than having the policy itself in place. Adding your equal visitation policy to your facility website, patient bill of rights poster or brochure alleviates the added anxiety LGBTQ people face when visiting their loved ones.
The HEI requires survey participants to document not only that they have equal visitation policies, but also that they make these policies readily accessible to patients in at least two of the following ways:
- Posted on facility website
- In materials given to patients at admitting/registration
- In materials given to patients at other time(s)
- In materials available for take-away in patient waiting areas
- Posted in patient waiting area(s)
Posted on facility website:
Tulane Medical Center
Has a comprehensive visitation policy outlined in their online patient bill of rights, which they also link to on their general visitation page.
University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital
Lists the patient’s visitation rights on their general information/visitation page.
In materials given to patients at admitting/registration:
Holtz Children’s Hospital and JMH Women’s Services
Gives its visitation policy to patients at admission.
Howard University Hospital
Disseminates its Patient Bill of Rights to patients prior to hospital admission.
In materials available for take-away in patient waiting areas:
Christiana Care Health System’s Wilmington Hospital
Includes their Visitation Policy in patient waiting areas.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital
Patient Rights and Responsibilities brochure has their inclusive visitation policy and is made available for all in patient waiting areas.
Posted in patient waiting area(s):
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital
Posts their Patient Rights and Responsibilities in their patient waiting areas to display their Patient and Equal Visitation policies.
The HEI requires facilities to share their LGBTQ-inclusive Visitation Non-Discrimination Policy with its employees in at least one of the following ways:
- Posted on facility intranet site
- Note that while having the policy posted on the intranet will allow a facility to meet this criterion, we strongly encourage facilities to promote these policies to their employees in a more proactive way such as through training.
- Posted in employee work area(s)
- In materials routinely given to employees at orientation
- Reviewed in in-person employee training
- Reviewed in online employee training
Posted on facility intranet site:
Jackson Health System
Gives an example of its Visitation policy posted on its intranet.
Posted in employee work area(s):
Steps to Recovery
Uses a display case in an employee area to showcase its Patient Non-Discrimination and Equal Visitation policies to employees.
In materials routinely given to employees at orientation:
Many facilities indicated that they give new employees copies of the actual visitation policy at orientation.
Reviewed in in-person employee training:
Steps to Recovery
In their employee training, they review their facility’s equal visitation policy in a PowerPoint slide.
Reviewed in online employee training: