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VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

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Visiting Hours

Girl visiting with grandfather and reading a card.A visit from your family, friends and relatives is a welcomed part of most patients' hospital stay. We encourage family and friends to visit patients in our facilities. Listed below is general information on visiting hours for patients and administrative hours for VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Visiting Hours

  • H. J. Heinz – 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    The lobby entrance of Building 51 at H.J. Heinz (front) will be locked at 9 p.m. daily and the Building 50 rear lobby entrance will be locked from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. daily.
  • University Drive Medical/Surgical Wards
    Visiting hours will be individualized to meet the needs of the patient, family and caregivers. There are no set inpatient visiting hours and we encourage any guest to visit when convenient. The main lobby entrance at University Drive is open 24 hours a day.
  • University Drive Behavioral Health Inpatient Wards – 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Exceptions to regularly scheduled visiting hours will be made on a case by case basis. For safety reasons, visitors are not permitted in patient bedrooms.
  • Critical Care – Visiting hours will be individualized to meet the needs of the patient, family and caregivers.
  • Post Anesthesia Recovery – Generally, visiting is not permitted. However, in certain circumstances the physician or nurse may make an exception.

General Visiting Policies

  • Children of all ages are permitted to visit inpatients at the University and Heinz divisions. However, children under the ages of 16 are not permitted in the dialysis unit due to infection control and safety reasons. All children under the age of 16 must be directly supervised by an adult and bedside visits limited to 15 minutes.
  • Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to visit on the psychiatric units at University Drive without the physician's permission.
  • While in restraints, patients may not have visitors. If the treatment team determines that visitors may have a positive effect on the patient, then supervised visitation may take place during a break from restraints. Staff will document the patient’s response to visitors.
  • Seriously ill and Hospice patients may have visits from relatives and friends at any hour unless the staff physician determines that the patient's condition is such that visits should be restricted to specific times.
  • Staff may ask visitors to leave the room when performing patient care. The day room, waiting area or any suitable area should be used, when possible for visitation.
  • Visitors are not permitted to bring weapons, cameras or other prohibited articles into the medical center except when conducting official business authorized by the Director or designee.
  • Visitors with communicable diseases are not permitted in the medical center.
  • Visitors must observe the infection control signs and should report to the nurses' station for instructions before entering a patient room.
  • Visitors must observe hand hygiene policy guidelines requiring hand hygiene on entry and exit from patient rooms and at other times as directed by staff.
  • Visitors may bring candy, fruit and other food items in limited quantities if it has been clarified by the nursing staff as appropriate patient's diet. However, fresh fruit and flowers are not permitted in the Critical Care Center and visitors are not permitted to eat or drink on the units.
  • Members of the religious community are encouraged to visit patients who are members of their local churches and/or synagogues. However, under no circumstances are they permitted to do general visitation by going from bed to bed, ward to ward or unit to unit.

Administrative Hours

Normal administrative hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., however, the medical center is operational 24-hours per day 7-days per week for patient care services. We encourage all vendors, salespersons, and others who come to the VAPHS for various administrative and economic reasons to make your visits within established business hours.

Patient Rights

VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) respects the patient's right to make decisions about his or her care, treatment and services, and to involve the patient's family in care, treatment, and services decisions to the extent permitted by the patient or surrogate decision-maker.

'Family' is defined as a group of two or more persons united by blood, or adoptive, marital, domestic partnership, or other legal ties. The family may also be a person or persons not legally related to the individual (such as significant other, friend or caregiver) whom the individual considers to be family. A family member may be the surrogate decision-maker, as defined in VHA Handbook 1004.02, if authorized to make care decisions for the individual, should he or she lose decision-making capacity or choose to delegate decision making to another.

VAPHS allows a family member, friend or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of stay. VAPHS allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient's choice, unless the individual's presence infringes on others' rights or safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative.

VAPHS prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.

VA General Visitation Policy

The medical center respects the patient's right to make decisions about his or her care, treatment and services, and to involve the patient's family in care, treatment, and services decisions to the extent permitted by the patient or surrogate decision-maker. "Family" is defined as a group of two or more persons united by blood, or adoptive, martial, domestic partnership, or other legal ties. The family may also be a person or persons not legally related to the individual (such as significant other, friend or caregiver) whom the individual considers to be family. A family member may be the surrogate decision-maker, as defined in VHA Handbook 1004.02, if authorized to make care decisions for the individual, should he or she lose decision-making capacity or choose to delegate decision making to another. The medical center allows a family member, friend or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of stay. The medical center allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient's choice, unless the individual's presence infringes on other's rights or safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative. The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.