Quinte Health Care
Exceptional Care, Inspired by You.

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QHC introduces open visiting hours News Release
BELLEVILLE, October 8, 2013 - Starting October 15, it will be up to the patient and family to decide when visiting is most needed and wanted at Quinte Health Care's four hospitals. The current QHC visiting times of 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. will no longer exist. Instead, patients will decide who they need at their bedside, and when.

"This change is really about accepting that patients don't have 'visitors'. They have family and friends who are a vital part of their care team," said President & CEO Mary Clare Egberts. "It's all about bringing the patient and their family (whoever they define as family) into the circle of care."

Ms. Egberts adds, "We've heard loud and clear from our communities that an exceptional patient experience extends beyond the excellent medicine and procedures patients receive at QHC hospitals. This is an important step in our journey to create an exceptional patient experience, one of QHC's four strategic directions."

QHC's Chief of Staff Dr. Dick Zoutman is equally supportive of the move to an open policy of having family at the bedside and says it's in the best interest of the patient.

"Quinte Health Care embraces family and patient centered care," explains Dr. Zoutman. "That means we focus what we are doing on the needs of our patients and their families as a unit and our new visiting policy is an expression of that. We recognize the importance of families and their connection with the patients' wellbeing."

According to Dr. Zoutman, some of the clinical benefits of having the family part of the circle of care include better healing for the patient, diminished anxiety, and increased understanding what's happening for the patient and their loved ones. It also provides more opportunity for education as in many cases the family provides care for the patient when they transition home.

For more information, please view the new Create an Exceptional Patient Experience section on our website (located under About QHC, Our Strategic Plan) which includes a video Q&A with QHC President and CEO, Mary Clare Egberts and our Chief of Staff, Dr. Dick Zoutman.

QHC continues to ask that anyone who is feeling unwell; has an infection; has symptoms of respiratory or flu-like illnesses not to come to the hospital as a visitor. Everyone should practice diligent hand hygiene including using the hand sanitizer when coming into the hospital. When visiting a patient with a potentially infectious disease personal protective equipment must be worn as instructed by staff.

Quinte Health Care has 1,800 staff members and 320 medical staff who provide a wide range of high quality health care services to a region of 160,000 residents. Care is provided through four hospitals - QHC Belleville General Hospital,QHC North Hastings Hospital,QHC Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital and QHC Trenton Memorial Hospitals - and includes inpatient services, four emergency departments, operating rooms, a rehabilitation day hospital, children's treatment centre, ambulatory care clinics, community mental health programs and a range of diagnostic services.

Susan Rowe
Director of Communications
Quinte Health Care
613-969-7400, ext. 2331