UCSF Medical Center Implements New Hospital Visitor Policy

November 06, 2009
News Office: Kate Schoen (415) 502-6397

UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children's Hospital are implementing a temporary change to their visitor policy due to a recent increase in cases of H1N1 flu and the potential for the virus to spread. Under the new policy, which goes into effect Monday, Nov. 9, visitors under the age of 16 will no longer be allowed on patient care floors and will be restricted to the hospitals' cafeteria and main lobby.

Dr. Joshua Adler, chief medical officer of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children's Hospital, said, "We are applying this change to our visitor policy because we have seen a modest increase in total flu cases both in our patients and in the general population. Because H1N1 is more likely to occur in children, we believe this is a prudent next step that will help reduce the risk of exposure to our patients and health care workers."

The change in visitor policy, which has been adopted by many other hospitals throughout the country, is one of several steps being taken by UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children's Hospital to limit the spread of H1N1, Adler said. Visitors of all ages also will be asked to complete a flu symptom self-assessment when entering the hospitals and will be asked not to enter patient floors if they have flu-like symptoms.

In addition, certain patient care units within the hospitals will implement more in-depth visitor screening procedures based on individual program needs and conditions.

Under special circumstances visitors under the age of 16 and visitors with flu-like symptoms may be allowed on patient floors. Any visitor with symptoms will need to wear a medical mask.

UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children’s Hospital will continually monitor the status of H1N1 cases and will issue additional notifications if there are any changes to the new policy.

UCSF Children's Hospital creates an environment where children and their families find compassionate care at the forefront of scientific discovery, with more than 150 experts in 50 medical specialties serving patients throughout Northern California and beyond. The hospital admits about 5,000 children each year, including 2,000 babies born in the hospital. For more information, visit www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org.

For more information about H1N1 and seasonal flu, see Flu Facts by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

UCSF Medical Center is recognized throughout the world as a leading academic medical center that provides innovative treatments, uses advanced technology, fosters collaboration among clinicians and scientists, and employs a compassionate team of doctors, nurses and staff.