Updated 10/21/20

Beginning Wednesday, October 21, Emory Healthcare is transitioning from visitor exceptions to Care Partners for certain groups of hospitalized patients. The visitation policy remains unchanged for the Emergency Department; Surgical, Procedural and Outpatient Services; and Outpatient clinic visits.

What is a Care Partner? 

  • A Care Partner is a dedicated person, chosen by the patient, who offers support and actively participates in the patient's care.
  • A Care Partner does not have the authority to make health care decisions on behalf of the patient. To make health care decisions on behalf of a patient, an Advance Directive for Health Care decisions is required.

Who can have a Care Partner?

  • A Care Partner is allowed for certain groups of inpatients who stay in our hospitals.
  • Care Partner determinations will be made at the discretion of the direct care team and may include the following:
    • Discharge planning and education
    • Inpatient Obstetrics
    • Neonatal ICU (NICU)
    • End of Life & Palliative Care, to include clergy
    • Surgery and Procedures (based on course of treatment as determined by the direct care team)
    • Inpatient Oncology (based on course of treatment as determined by the direct care team)
    • Disruptive behavior, behavioral health, altered mental status, developmental delays or other safety concerns
    • Minors under the age of 18
    • Other extenuating circumstances as they arise
  • A Care Partner is not allowed for COVID–19 positive patients or those with COVID-19 symptoms awaiting a test result.

What is the difference between a Care Partner and a visitor?

  • A Care Partner offers support and actively participates in the patient's care. For example:
    • Assists with the patient's discharge education
    • Serves as a point of contact for the patient's family and friends
    • Maintains close communication with the patient's care team
    • Provides companionship and emotional support for the patient
  • A visitor does not have an essential role in the patient's care. For example:
    • A friend or family member that brings the patient flowers or balloons

Do all Patients have a Care Partner?

  • We are limiting entry to our hospitals to approved Care Partners for inpatients only. Visitation remains restricted for the Emergency Department; Surgical, Procedural and Outpatient Services; and Outpatient clinic visits.
    • Discharge planning and education
    • Neonatal ICU (NICU)
    • End of Life/Palliative care
    • Surgery and Procedures (based on course of treatment as determined by the direct care team)
    • Inpatient Oncology (based on course of treatment as determined by the direct care team)
    • Disruptive behavior, behavioral health, altered mental status, developmental delays or other safety concerns
    • Minors under the age of 18
    • Other Care Partner determinations will be made at the discretion of the direct care team and communicated to the patient and Care Partner.
  • A Care Partner is not allowed for COVID-19 positive patients or those with COVID-19 symptoms awaiting a test result.
  • Depending on the level of COVID–19 in the community, Emory Healthcare may adjust Care Partner criteria in the future.

Are there visiting hours for the Care Partner?

  • Please check with the patient’s care team regarding specific visiting hours. Visiting hours vary site by site for the safety of our patients and staff.

How can I protect myself as the Care Partner?

  • Wear a mask over your mouth and nose at all times, even in the patient's room.
  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.
  • If eating or drinking, distance yourself at least 6 feet from others.
  • Monitor yourself for COVID–19 symptoms.
  • If you have COVID–19 symptoms, do not visit the patient.
  • If you test positive for COVID–19 or influenza within three days of your last visit, notify the patient's care team.
  • Use safety measures outside of the hospital: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.

How will I be screened as a Care Partner?

  • Care Partners will be screened daily for fever and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Care Partners must wear a mask while in an Emory Healthcare facility. Mask will be provided to Care Partners who do not have one.