Survey Scores St. Catherine's at Bottom on Visitation Policies

Survey shows St. Catherine's visiting hours unclear, website information lax.


A recent survey conducted on several New York hospitals scores St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center at the bottom in presenting clear information regarding visitation policies.

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. Catherine’s, along with seven other hospitals received a website score of 0, due largely to unclear visitation policies.

Policies regarding children’s visitation at the hospital was “very unclear” according to the survey. According to the report, no statement on children visitation can be found on the website and answers varied when calls were made to the hospital regarding children. On one call, it was stated, that children under 13 were generally prohibited, but “it depended on the floor”. The survey cited another call where the caller was told “the hospital is much more flexible about this now.”

The survey indicated that more clear information should be able to be obtained.

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.

Chris Hendriks, spokeswoman for Catholic Health Services, which includes St. Catherine's said the hospital ensures that patient’s rights for visitation are respected.

“Each and every patient is afforded full and equal rights to choose whom they want by their bedside during times of illness,” said Hendricks. “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 did not indicate if they hospital would be making any changes to its policies or website.

The survey also faulted the hospital for having seven hours or less of visiting time for patients.

“Our staff encourages visitors to assist in the health promotion and healing process of our patients,” said Hendricks.  “In addition, St. Catherine offers nine hours in which visitors can see patients and does everything possible to accommodate special requests.”

Cathy August 10, 2012 at 09:55 AM
My husband was just in St Catherines for 9 days in July. I visited whenever I wanted, and the staff could not have been more supportive and helpful. This seems like a bogus story. There was another family we knew a couple of doors down from us, and they also had no trouble visiting when they wanted.
Donald Burns August 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM
The parking is the real problem at St Catherine's.
June Kempf August 10, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Like most surveys this one is seriously flawed. I too have relatives who were recent patients at St Catherine's and I was never restricted from visiting - in any way - even to the extent of permitting me to witness the birth of my beautiful grandaughter. I believe that the hospital does have the right to protect the patient when a visitor can cause a disturbance and I don't care if it's clearly stated on the website.It's a discretionary call. We should focus more on patient care and in experience, St. Catherine's scores: Excellent.
My thoughts August 10, 2012 at 01:37 PM
I have been both a visitor and patient at St Catherine's and I can tell you that the visitation has never been a problem! Not only are they flexible and accommodating, they are so helpful and welcoming to visitors. We can do without subjective surveys like this because it only damages morale and gives a negative energy to positive place. I agree with Donald, the real problem is their parking, and maybe they can focus on their emergency room registration process, because both are not as efficient as they could be! As far as visitation goes, I wouldn't worry much about that.
pbug56 August 10, 2012 at 06:11 PM
My wife ended up in St Catherines ER in the middle of a winter storm when the ambulance couldn't get through to Huntington Hospital. I remember my issues at the time; finding a place to park (that you could actually walk in since the lots were a disaster long after the storm was over), but far worse then that, the hospital had no way to get the medical history and instructions for my wife's treatment from Huntington Hospital and its affiliated doctors - and even when they got info, they didn't want to accept it. End result is that my wife's monthly infusion got put off so long she needed multiple blood transfusions to keep her going. The people seemed nice but technology and communications wise they were about up to the early telegraph era of the early 1800's. Someday I'm sure they'll learn about computers, the web, using web sites to provide things like visitor information, etc.
kper August 10, 2012 at 06:23 PM
As an employee of St. Catherines to keep you updated the parking lot is being expanded in the rear if you have not been back there, I have also given birth there and can tell you they only allow 2 people in birthing room, father of child and coach (soon to be grandmas) it was a joyful experience as a mother expecting I would not want multiple people in my birthing room. Also they are renovating all the maternity rooms which by the way are very beautiful, every hospital has its flaws I can assure you
kper August 13, 2012 at 05:01 PM
if you dont read the signs outside while driving by you might see that we have updated out systems we now are paperless and you can access your medical records from online and we also have a website it's stcatherines.@chsli.org in case you have never tried to look us up
pbug56 August 14, 2012 at 12:01 AM
kper - you gave us an Email address, not a web address. But let me ask you something else; if a patient coming into St Catherines ER has medical records at say Huntington Hospital, can the ER docs quickly (minutes) - or ever, get access to that data at Huntington? Or from doctors who practice at Huntington Hospital? Or does it still take several days to arrange transfer by mail or fax?
kper August 14, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I have to look into it may depend on the software they use for paperless if they even have that yet
pbug56 August 14, 2012 at 01:47 AM
BTW, I don't just aim that at Saint Catherines. Long Island is notorious for having so few doctors with electronic health record systems, hospitals making poor use of them, and no one - doctors or hospitals, sharing data, let alone letting patients see it.


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