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Article

Visiting Policies of Hospice Wards during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Environmental Scan in Taiwan

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Department of Family Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shi-Pai Road, Taipei 112, Taiwan
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School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, No. 155, Sec. 2, Linong Street, Taipei 112, Taiwan
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Big Data Center, Department of Medical Research, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shi-Pai Road, Taipei 112, Taiwan
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Department of Public Finance, National Chengchi University, Taipei 116, Taiwan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2857; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082857
Received: 1 April 2020 / Revised: 20 April 2020 / Accepted: 21 April 2020 / Published: 21 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Health Care Sciences & Services)
During an epidemic, almost all healthcare facilities restrict the visiting of patients to prevent disease transmission. For hospices with terminally ill patients, the trade-off between compassion and infection control becomes a difficult decision. This study aimed to survey the changes in visiting policy for all 76 hospice wards in Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The altered visiting policies were assessed by the number of visitors per patient allowed at one time, the daily number of visiting slots, the number of hours open daily, and requisites for hospice ward entry. The differences in visiting policies between hospice wards and ordinary wards were also investigated. Data were collected by reviewing the official website of each hospital and were supplemented by phone calls in cases where no information was posted on the website. One quarter (n = 20) of hospice wards had different visiting policies to those of ordinary wards in the same hospital. Only one hospice ward operated an open policy, and in contrast, nine (11.8%) stopped visits entirely. Among the 67 hospice wards that allowed visiting, at most, two visitors at one time per patient were allowed in 46 (68.6%), one visiting time daily was allowed in 32 (47.8%), one hour of visiting per day was allowed in 29 (43.3%), and checking of identity and travel history was carried out in 12 wards (17.9%). During the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all hospice wards in Taiwan changed their visiting policies, but the degree of restriction varied. Further studies could measure the impacts of visiting policy changes on patients and healthcare professionals. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; health care surveys; hospices; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; visitors to patients COVID-19; health care surveys; hospices; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; visitors to patients
MDPI and ACS Style

Hsu, Y.-C.; Liu, Y.-A.; Lin, M.-H.; Lee, H.-W.; Chen, T.-J.; Chou, L.-F.; Hwang, S.-J. Visiting Policies of Hospice Wards during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Environmental Scan in Taiwan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2857. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082857

AMA Style

Hsu Y-C, Liu Y-A, Lin M-H, Lee H-W, Chen T-J, Chou L-F, Hwang S-J. Visiting Policies of Hospice Wards during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Environmental Scan in Taiwan. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(8):2857. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082857

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hsu, Ya-Chuan, Ya-An Liu, Ming-Hwai Lin, Hsiao-Wen Lee, Tzeng-Ji Chen, Li-Fang Chou, and Shinn-Jang Hwang. 2020. "Visiting Policies of Hospice Wards during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Environmental Scan in Taiwan" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 8: 2857. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082857

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