Visitor Information

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Limited visitation policy in effect at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

General guidance

Due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, MedStar St. Mary's Hospital has limited visitation to safeguard our patients, staff, and community.

At our hospital, a “visitor” is defined as anyone who is not the patient—including caretakers, spouses or other family members, and professional support persons (i.e. doulas).

The following guidelines are in place:

  • All patients with disabilities may designate one guardian/caregiver to accompany them throughout all care settings.
  • Each patient at MedStar St. Mary’s may have one visitor per day. For admitted patients, this individual should be designated the night before. A different visitor may be selected daily, but two visitors cannot trade places on the same day. Visiting hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
  • Patients in the Women's Health & Family Birthing Center may have up to two visitors during the laboring period. Pediatric patients may have up to two visitors daily. End-of-life patients may also have two visitors.
  • Individuals coming to the Emergency Department may be accompanied by one person. Patients arriving for ambulatory (same day) surgery may also be accompanied by one person. Please see “Important Information for Visitors” below.
  • No visitors under the age of 18 are permitted.
  • Admitted patients who are COVID-19 positive or persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 may not have visitors. Exceptions include end-of-life patients, pediatric patients, or patients with disabilities.
  • Anyone entering MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital will be screened at the Emergency Department entrance. Individuals who do not pass the screening will not be granted access to the building.
  • All visitors MUST wear a mask at all times and practice physical distancing. Failure to follow masking, social distancing, and other safety policies could result in loss of visiting privileges. Please review the important information below.
  • Any exceptions to this policy require approval from a vice president or administrator on call (AOC) at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital.

Important information for visitors

For the safety of our vulnerable patients and staff, visitors MUST adhere to the following protocols. Failure to follow masking, social distancing, and other safety policies could result in loss of visiting privileges.

  • Face masks must be worn at all times. Be sure the mask covers both your nose and mouth.
  • Practice appropriate hand hygiene. Use provided sanitizer upon entering or leaving the building, the patient’s room, and/or The Blue Heron Café (hospital cafeteria). When in doubt, sanitize.
  • Use the single visitor elevator, located on the first floor near The Blue Heron Café. Please do not use the double elevators, marked “Staff Only.”
  • Practice physical distancing—standing at least 6 feet part—from others.
  • Use the restroom only in your patient’s room.
  • Stay in the patient’s room as much as possible. Limit the number of times you enter and exit.

Visitation Information Prior to COVID-19

MedStar St. Mary's Hospital has a strong commitment to customer service. It is our philosophy that visitation of family and friends be as unrestrictive as possible. On a case-by-case basis, limitations may need to be made due to the clinical condition of the patient or at a patient's request. Since we believe visitors play a vital role in supporting loved ones and friends, we'll do our best to make you feel welcome and comfortable during your time with us.

Our main lobby entrance hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Visitor Policies by Department

Emergency Department
Visitors in the Emergency Department are permissible at the discretion of the nurse and/or physician caring for the patient. As a rule, the number of visitors will be restricted to two. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Visitors may need to leave under certain conditions as determined by the physician. The Emergency Department entrance is open 24 hours a day.

Intensive Care Center Visitor Information
Please feel free to use the visitor's lounge located outside the Intensive Care Center. When you are ready to visit, please pick up the phone in the waiting area; the nurse will respond as quickly as possible to tell you when you may visit. Visitation may be altered or reduced at the nurse or doctor's discretion.

Visitors may not be present during a Code Blue unless deemed appropriate by the physician in charge of the code. Visiting children must be attended by an adult, other than the patient. Children may not be left unattended with patients and must be without a fever.

A family member or significant other is welcome to stay overnight with loved ones. It is requested that only one guest remain overnight in the patient room. A sofa bed is available in most patient care areas for this purpose. When additional guests desire to stay overnight, alternative accommodations will be suggested on a case-by-case basis. However, MedStar St. Mary's Hospital is not obligated to accommodate an overnight stay.

Women's Health & Family Birthing Center Visitor Information
A telephone is provided in the visitor waiting area to assist visitors in gaining entry to patient rooms. The following is MedStar St. Mary's Hospital's Women's Health & Family Birthing Center visitor policy.

Behavioral Health Services Visitor Information
Visiting hours on the Behavioral Health unit are 6 to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Two visitors are allowed at a time per patient. All visitors must sign in at the nurses' station. All packages must be inspected. Visitors under the age of 12 are allowed with permission of the charge nurse. Special exceptions can be made at the discretion of the psychiatrist. For more information, call Behavioral Health at 301-475-6227.

General Guidelines

For the safety and security of our patients and their families, all visitors to the inpatient areas must sign in at the front desk and must wear a visitor's badge issued at sign-in. The badge should be displayed on a visible article of clothing throughout your visit. Also, please note that smoking is not permitted on hospital grounds.

For pediatric patients, parents or guardians are encouraged to stay with a pediatric patient at all times.

Condition reports
Any personal information about a patient's diagnosis and treatment must come from the patient's physician; this information is only given to a member of the immediate family who the patient designates as family spokesperson.

Children
An adult, besides the patient, must accompany all visiting children. Children must not be left unattended. They may enter patient care areas only if they are healthy at the time of the visit.

Please note: For the privacy and safety of our patients, children accompanying an adult to any outpatient services (laboratory tests, imaging tests etc.), under the age of 13, are not permitted in the exam rooms and may not be left unattended in the waiting area.

Overnight visitors
A family member or significant other is welcome to stay overnight with a loved one in single rooms. It is requested that only one guest remain overnight in the patient room. A sofa bed is available in most patient care areas for this purpose. When additional guests wish to stay overnight, alternative accommodations will be suggested on a case-by-case basis. The hospital is not obligated to accommodate an overnight stay.

Chapel and Meditation Room
The Chapel and the Meditation Room are adjacent to each other and located on the first floor. Visitors of all faiths are welcome to visit these areas for prayer and meditation.

The Chapel is generally used by individuals of all denominations who are Christian. The Meditation Room is used by people who are of other faiths. We have several copies of the Torah, Quran, New Testament and Psalms, which are available on loan from the Volunteer Office.