Ask ECRI: Communicating Visitation Policy Changes

August 17, 2020 | Aging Services Risk Management


​A member reached out requesting guidance on the language used to communicate changes in visitation policies. There was particular interest in how best to approach this in the midst of ever-evolving circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When enacting a temporary visitation policy change such as those discussed below, the change should be supported by the existing organizational visitation policy. For example, the existing policy should include language allowing the organization to adjust the policy as needed. This language should be very broad to give the organization the leeway it needs to make effective safety decisions under unanticipated circumstances, such as a pandemic. This language should state or convey the message that the organization reserves the right to update the visitation policy as appropriate.

The following examples are snapshots from June 2020 of visitation policy language taken from several third-party organizations in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A few key phrases have been emphasized that...

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