Patients of the Northwell Health System have the right to have a patient care environment that is supportive of their relationships with family, friends, and a significant other. Patient care is provided in a patient-centered atmosphere that is respectful, supportive and mindful of the important role visitors play in a patient's well being. Therefore, the vital information below will help you understand the different types (roles) of people who will provide support during a patient's stay.
As a visitor, you may be chosen by a patient to fulfill any of the roles below:
- A Health Care Agent
- A Support Person
- A Patient Representative
You may be asked to fulfill all of these roles, or you may be chosen for at least one of them. Appointments are at the discretion of the patient.
Health Care Agent
A "Health Care Agent" is an adult who is chosen to make decisions about the patient's health care when they cannot do so. This person is also known as a health care proxy.
A "Support Person" (a family member, friend, or other trusted individual) helps you make decisions about who should visit the patient. This person will also provide the patient with emotional support, and comfort to reduce any fear the patient may have during their hospital stay. The patient may change their Support Persons any time during their hospital stay.
A "Patient Representative" is a person who helps the patient make healthcare decisions. This person can also carry out the patient's patient rights and participate in the patient's care. The Patient Representative does not have to be a family member. If the patient is unable to make decisions, the Health Care Agent takes priority over the Patient Representative.
If you have any questions please ask your nurse to contact: Patient Representation North extension 8851 from 9a, - 4:30 pm. South extension 2010 from 8:30 am – 4:00pm. After 4:30 pm refer to Nursing Administration at extension 9763.
For additional information regarding Visitor Accommodations, visit our Visitor Accommodations page.