Patients May Appoint Designated Support Persons or Request Visits From Clergy

Patients with disabilities may appoint a “Designated Support Person” to assist them during a hospital admission. For hospital stays of 24 hours or more, the patient may appoint additional Designated Support Persons.

One Designated Support Person may accompany and assist the patient during their admission. The Designated Support Person must meet all safety and patient care requirements of the hospital. The hospital may establish certain visitation policies, such as limiting overnight stays in the patient room, for patient safety and care.

In the event a Designated Support Person does not meet hospital safety and patient care requirements, the patient may request their additional Designated Support Person.

A “Designated Support Person” is a person knowledgeable about the needs of a person with a disability, who is designated orally or in writing, by the person with a disability, the individual’s guardian or care provider. The Designated Support Person should be able to provide support and assistance, including physical assistance, emotional support, assistance with communication or decision making, or other assistance as necessary as a result of the person’s disability, to the person with a disability, at the time health care services are provided.

All patients may request visits by members of the Clergy, of any religious denomination or sect, during their hospital admission. Members of the Clergy must meet all safety and patient care requirements of the hospital.

Reference: VA HB 5005, Item 300#1c; SB 1356; HB 2162