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Report Blasts Stony Brook's Lack of Communication on Visiting Hours

Hospital updates policy in response to report's findings.

Courtesy SBUH
Courtesy SBUH
A report that studied large hospitals' visiting hour policies found that Stony Brook University Hospital failed to communicate changes to the policy that were made in accordance with state law, according to a report published Thursday in Newsday.

The report, published by New Yorkers for Patient & Family Empowerment, Lambda Legal and the New York Public Interest Research Group, reviewed 99 New York hospitals' visiting hour policies that were published online, and found that Stony Brook was among 17 that had policies inconsistent or in non-compliance with state laws.

New York State laws say that patients have the right to choose who visits them; at the time of the report's publication, Stony Brook's website said visitation was limited to immediate family for patients in the the cardiovascular intensive care unit, coronary care unit and medical intensive care unit. According to the report, it's the second straight year that SBUH failed to update its policy or its website detailing the policy.

A hospital spokesman told Newsday that SBUH "neglected to update our website appropriately," and told Patch that the updates were made Friday morning.

Stony Brook's visiting hours policy now reads, in part: 

"Stony Brook University Hospital supports open patient visitation in a manner that provides therapeutic benefit to patients. Visits from family and friends are welcome at all times and can be helpful to a patient’s recovery. ... Patients define their family. Family is an individual who may be biologically, legally or emotionally related to the patient. Visitors are guests of the patient or family. For the rest and recovery of patients and their family we do ask visitors to limit their visits after 8:30 pm."

Click here to read the full story from Newsday (subscription required).

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