VA Caribbean Healthcare System
VACHS Updates its Visitation Policy - As a result to the reported increase of COVID-19 positive cases in Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands, and as a preventive measure to keep the well-being and health of our veterans, families and staff, the VA Caribbean Healthcare System is suspending all visits to our institution, effective August 5, 2021, until further notice.
Please Refer to Press Release: CLICK HERE
A visit from your family members and friends is a welcome part of your hospital stay. Since the recovery of our patients is of utmost importance to us, we have established the following rules:
Visitors are expected to be quiet and orderly, and to obey all medical center rules and regulations.
Special visiting are coordinated with the unit's head nurse. Whenever possible and medically appropriate, the nurse will make the arrangements to meet patient and family needs.
Visitors are not permitted in the recovery room following the surgery of a family member or friend.
- Children must not be left unattended at any time..
All persons, including visitors, who enter the Medical Center, must consent to the inspection of their packages, luggage and any other containers in their possession. Those who decide not to allow these items to be inspected will be denied admission. VA Police are responsible for ensuring that these procedures are enforced.
If you are unable to visit a patient personally, you may call the patient or send a card or gift.
Number of Visitors
A patient may receive no more than two visitors at a time.
Food and Beverages
Visitors may not bring food, beverages or medications to patients without authorization from unit physicians or nurses. Possession, sale or use of illicit drugs, narcotics or alcohol is prohibited on VA property. This carries serious penalties.
Visiting Age must be twelve (12) years old or aboveVisitor age must be twelve (12) years old or above. No visitor under the age of twelve (12) years of age will be allowed in the Hospital, under any circumstance.
Members of the clergy are welcome to visit patients who are members of their particular religious group at any time at the discretion of the unit physicians or nurses.
For the health and well-being of a patient, the attending physician may limit, restrict, or deny visitation. We apologize for any inconvenience when this occurs, and appreciate your understanding that it may be medically necessary.
Security/Practices Not allowed
An electronic surveillance system has been installed in the VA Hospital to prevent removing VA property. Infractions carry serious penalties. The VA may inspect all packages and bags brought in or out of the hospital.
The use of cellular phones is prohibited inside of the building because they may interfere with medical equipment.
Dangerous weapons (fire arms, clubs, etc.) are prohibited in this hospital. If you have any weapons, they must be deposited in the Police Service Office on the first floor.
Gambling and Commercial Transactions
Gambling, selling or engaging in commercial transactions of any kind is prohibited in the hospital grounds.
Anyone deliberately damaging VA property will be required to pay for the damage. The removal of hospital property such as pajamas, sheets, covers, pillows, pillowcases and towels is not allowed.
Gift giving or tips to any of our employees is not allowed. Remind your family not to give gifts or tips. It is our privilege to take care of you. Do not tape or record any conversation with healthcare team members or other patients without their permission. Please direct any questions about your health care to your doctor or other members of your health care team. Photos are not allowed in any areas of the Hospital, unless authorized by official personnel.
Smoking is not allowed in any building or on the premises of the hospital. There are designated smoking areas outside the hospital such as:
1st floor, breezeway main building
Ward 2C2 terrace (2nd floor)
First and second floor terraces at the Nursing Home Building.
Acute Care Medicine, Intensive Care Units, ABHICU, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, CLC, Spinal Cord Injury
Limited visitations on a case-by-case basis with the approval and assistance of ward physicians, Nursing Staff and ward MSA to coordinate visits dates and hours, only for:
Determination of clinical need according to the inpatient interdisciplinary team:
- If a patient’s physical or emotional need is identified, relatives or caretaker support will be allowed for limited hours as determined by physicians and nurse staff.
- Compassionate care situations.
The inpatient attending physician is responsible to enter a text order in the patient’s chart detailing the authorized visitor’s name and days, time of visitation. No visitor will be allowed through the Hospital checkpoint without written authorization in the corresponding patient’s chart.
Re-implementation of patient-family communication through the use of tablets, and publicity to promote and optimize Elena’s Project.
Important note: CLC cancelled all visitations and communal dining room privileges effective 8/3/2021 based on VHA national guidelines.
Under normal conditions, the following visiting hours will be observed:
Visiting Hours - (Weekdays, Weekends, Holidays)
Medical Intensive Care Unit MICU
1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Surgical Intensive Care Unit SICU & Intermediate Surgical Care Unit (ISCU)
9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Two close relatives will be allowed at the same time for each patient.
Relatives will be requested to leave the cubicle while a special procedure is being done.
Special authorization to remain bedside will be granted to close relatives for terminally ill patients. In special circumstances visits to patient can be limited by doctor’s order for the benefit of the patient.
Coronary Care Unit (CCU)
1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Intermediate Coronary Care Unit (ICCU)
1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Visitors to Intensive Care Units limited to no more than two visitors per patient at a time and for five (5) minutes
Psychiatric Acute Inpatient Care Unit (PAICU)*
- Mondays:6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesdays:6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesdays:1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Thursday:1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Friday:6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
*With staff authorization and supervision: Visitors are permitted in Psychiatric Acute Inpatient Care Unit (PAICU), except for patient in constant observation or patient on close observation but that the interdisciplinary team understand are fragile or psychotic. Visitation out of the established hours may be arranged with nurse manager and or physician.
Weekdays, Weekends & Holidays
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Visits to patients listed as “Seriously ill” will not be limited to any particular hours, but will be limited to members of the immediate family or requested clergy. Only one relative can remain overnight with the patient, if on S.I. list. Any other patient requiring a companion overnight must request a written pass. The Nurse Manager or Charge Nurse will grant a written pass not to exceed 72 hours at a time to the patient’s caregiver (see Attachment A).
Under ordinary circumstances, visitors under twelve (12) years of age will not be permitted to visit on the Wards. They should stay in the main lobby, accompanied by an adult. Exceptions to this must be approved by the physician or nurse in charge of the Ward.
When necessary, it will be the responsibility of the Team Leader/Nurse Manager to limit the number of visitors to any patient at a given time. The number of visitors must not exceed two/three people at a time. Patient privacy during house staff rounds must be protected at all times. Visitors should be oriented as to remain in designated waiting areas as to comply with HIPAA regulations. Visitors are required to follow procedures indicated on the isolation signs, or follow instructions when an outbreak or special event occurs.
Visitors for patients in Intensive Care Unit will normally be limited to no more than two (2) at a time for five (5) minutes duration when approved by the attending physician. The charge nurse in the Intensive Care Unit will be responsible for orienting family members concerning the specific visiting hours, which are available in each unit.
Restrictions on patients’ visitation rights, not in compliance with Department of Veterans Affairs and Medical Center Policy, will be clearly documented in the patient’s medical record by the Registered Nurse (RN) or MD and evaluated for therapeutic effectiveness when applicable.
Community Living Center units and Hospice’s regular visiting hours are as liberal as possible, limited only by the patients/residents’ personal preferences. Persons entering before 10:00 A.M. and after 8:00 P.M. are requested to identify themselves to the nurse in charge. Rules and regulations governing visitors and visiting hours are effectively communicated to all concerned. Space is provided for residents to receive visitors in comfort and privacy. Patients/Residents’ rights are considered in all interactions.
Visit to patients by an employee who is related to him/her will be carried out as stated in this center memorandum. Confidentiality of patient information must be assured. At no time is the employee/visitor authorized to obtain information from patient’s medical record.
DRESS CODE: Visitors are expected to wear clothing that is suitable for the hospital environment. The length of all skirts and shorts cannot be more than 4" above the knee while standing. Mini-skirts, spaghetti-strap dresses, dresses/blouses with low tops, bare shoulders, or shirts open to the waistline will not be allowed in the hospital premises.
VA General Visitation Policy
The medical center respects the patient's right to make decisions about his or her care, treatment and services, and to involve the patient's family in care, treatment, and services decisions to the extent permitted by the patient or surrogate decision-maker. "Family" is defined as a group of two or more persons united by blood, or adoptive, martial, domestic partnership, or other legal ties. The family may also be a person or persons not legally related to the individual (such as significant other, friend or caregiver) whom the individual considers to be family. A family member may be the surrogate decision-maker, as defined in VHA Handbook 1004.02, if authorized to make care decisions for the individual, should he or she lose decision-making capacity or choose to delegate decision making to another. The medical center allows a family member, friend or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of stay. The medical center allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient's choice, unless the individual's presence infringes on other's rights or safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative. The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.