A recent survey conducted on several New York hospitals scores in Port Jefferson at the bottom in presenting clear information regarding visitation policies while was near the top of the list.
Visitation policies were reviewed at 99 New York hospitals with 200 or more beds statewide. The survey, conducted by New Yorkers for Patient & Family Empowerment, a joint project of the nonprofits New York Public Interest Research Group and the Center for Justice Democracy, reviewed website information on visitation as well as flexibility in visitation and awarded a 0-10 score, with 10 being the highest.
St. Charles, along with seven other hospitals received a website score of 0, due largely to unclear visitation policies.
According to the report, no statement on children visitation can be found on the website but could only be obtained by calling the hospital. The report stated that children under 14 were prohibited from visiting.
The survey also noted that the hospital offers seven hours or less of visiting time for patients and does not offer an open visitation policy.
Mather Hospital was one of 12 that received a score of 7, which was one of the top hospitals in the state. No hospital recieved a perfect score of 10.
The report did find that Mather also had confusing policies regarding children saying that a telephone call to the hospital confirmed that it did have age restrictions on visitors possibly causing confusion.
"And the surprise could come even if a family had carefully reviewed the hospital's visiting policy on the website before coming to the hospital with a child," the report stated.
Visiting hours for Mather posed a problem, according to the report, saying that the ending time of 7 p.m. would "likely be more difficult for many daytime workers."
Marilyn Fabbricante, spokeswoman for St. Charles Hospital said the hospital ensures that patient’s rights for visitation are respected.
“Our patient-centered team of clinicians believe that visitors assist in the healing process as well as provide comfort and support to their loved ones, so we do everything possible to accommodate special requests,” said Fabbricante. “Visitation rights are not restricted, limited or denied on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.”
She said that St. Charles Hospital is taking the report's recommendations under consideration.