For a study, researchers sought to conduct a web-based survey (March–July 2021) to investigate ICU visiting practices before the pandemic, during peak COVID-19 ICU admissions, and at the survey response time. They sought information on visiting policies and modes of communication, including virtual visiting (videoconferencing). They received 667 valid responses from ICUs on all continents. Before the pandemic, 20% (106/525) had open visiting hours, while 6% (30/525) did not allow in-person visits. At its peak, 84% (558/667) of patients with COVID-19 were denied in-person visits, compared to 66% of patients without COVID-19. At the time of survey reporting, this proportion had dropped to 55% (369/667). A government mandate to limit hospital visits was reported by 53% (354/646). Most ICUs (55%, 353/615) used phone updates regularly; 50% (306/667) used the phone for formal meetings and discussions about prognosis or end-of-life care. At the time of the survey, 63% (418/667) of respondents had access to virtual visits. At the height of the pandemic, highly restrictive visiting policies were implemented, which were later liberalized but did not return to pre-pandemic levels. In most ICUs, the telephone became the primary mode of communication, supplemented by virtual visits.

Source:www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S088394412200079X