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Facilities of Saskatchewan Health Regions to allow visiting hours 24/7

The provincial Health Minister, Dustin Duncan, has confirmed that Saskatchewan will be the first Canadian province to implement an open family presence policy in its health care facilities.

This means, Health regions across the province are moving towards flexible visiting hours in health care centers, offering visiting hours 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, based on the patient’s preference.

The approach recognizes that families are important partners in patient care, and are not simply visitors. The patient will define who comprises their “family,” such as relatives or other people they are close to.

“This is a great example of improving the patient experience, and we support it 100 per cent,” Duncan said.  “Loved ones play an essential role in improving patients’ health, and help further our goal of providing high-quality, patient-focused care.  To me, this policy change is an easy one to make.”

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Open family presence is an internationally recognized best practice that can benefit patients in many ways, including increased co-ordination of care with front-line staff, fewer medication errors, fewer re-admissions, and an overall better patient and family experience.

All health regions adopted this policy on March 31 and are at various stages of implementation.

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