Widow inspires Renown Health hospitals to lift visitor restrictions for COVID-19 patients

Reno, Nev.-based Renown Health said it has lifted visitor restrictions and is encouraging limited visitors for patients, including those with COVID-19.

The policy update took effect the morning of Jan. 27, making Renown hospitals among the first nationwide to lift visitor restrictions for COVID-19 patients, according to the health system.

The update comes as a high percentage of Renown hospital staff have been inoculated and hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients have decreased

Renown said Reno resident Darlene Randolph, whose husband died Dec. 13 at Renown after a 17-day battle against the virus, inspired the change.

Ms. Randolph had limited communications options while her husband was hospitalized, and she spoke with her husband via video call or phone.

"As a registered dietician, she worked in hospitals and knew the protocol. She knew, like hospitals across the globe, Renown had restricted family members from visiting in order to stop the spread of the virus to other patients, staff and their family members. Still, she wished she could have spent more time with him," said Renown.

So, on Christmas Eve, she wrote a letter to Renown President and CEO Anthony Slonim, MD, in which she thanked hospital staff for the care they provided her husband and expressed her wish that she could have been by his side in the facility. The health system leadership team then reviewed Ms. Randolph's request, made a recommendation, and the policy update was adopted, according to Renown.

The health system is allowing one patient supporter per patient to visit at Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center, both in Reno. Renown also extended visiting hours for all patients and is encouraging patients to designate up to two patient supporters. One patient supporter may visit at a time.

Read more about the policy update here


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