Find VA policies on privacy and patient rights, family rights, visitation, and more.
Privacy and patient rights
COVID-19 Health Protection Guidelines
Please review these guidelines before you visit a patient at our medical center.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, our current transmission level in the community is high. As such, here are the health protection guidelines you need to be aware of before you enter one of our facilities:
- Masks required
- Self-screening. Contact your primary care team before visiting any of our locations if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
- No more than 2 visitors allowed per inpatient
- To reduce the number of people in our facilities, if you are able, please come alone to your outpatient medical appointments.
- Physical distancing required.
For the protection of our patients and staff, Houston VA has limited visitation to our main medical center and outpatient clinics.
Inpatient visiting hours are limited and may vary based on the unit, COVID-positive rate, etc. If you want to visit an inpatient in our medical center, please call first to determine if visitors are permitted on that unit.
Veterans are asked to come alone to their outpatient appointments unless they need cognitive or physical assistance or require a person with them while they have a procedure.
Visitors will not be allowed to wait in common areas and will be screened and required to wear face coverings.
Bringing children to visit
Children under 12 years must be accompanied by an adult.
Limiting your visit
Our doctors may limit, restrict, or deny visits for the medical well-being of a patient. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
You can't bring weapons, alcohol, or illegal drugs into the building. Because the VA medical center is federal property, all visitors and bags may be searched.
VA Houston is a smoke-free campus. This applies to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or any other combustion of tobacco, including but not limited to electronic or e-cigarettes, vape pens, or e-cigars. For information on Tobacco Cessation classes, contact Susan Bogard, RN, at 713-791-1414, ext. 28768.
The VA police patrol the buildings and parking lots every hour of every day. Our police service is located in building 100, room 1A-756, near the Emergency Room entrance.
Report to the VA police any suspicious or criminal activity, vehicle accidents, and personal property losses on the facility grounds. For police assistance, call 713-794-7106. In case of an emergency, dial 911
Conduct and Behavior
Please be considerate of others and help us maintain a quiet atmosphere. Regulations do not permit the use of loud, abusive, or profane language; loud music or televisions; gambling, soliciting, bartering, or panhandling; or the sale, use, or possession of intoxicants or unauthorized drugs. If you should observe such misconduct by anyone, please report it immediately to a unit nurse or the VA Police.
VA general visitation policy
The medical center respects the patient's right to make decisions about his or her care, treatment and services, and to involve the patient's family in care, treatment, and services decisions to the extent permitted by the patient or surrogate decision-maker.
"Family" is defined as a group of two or more persons united by blood, or adoptive, marital, domestic partnership, or other legal ties. The family may also be a person or persons not legally related to the individual (such as significant other, friend or caregiver) whom the individual considers to be family. A family member may be the surrogate decision-maker, as defined in VHA Handbook 1004.02, if authorized to make care decisions for the individual, should he or she lose decision-making capacity or choose to delegate decision making to another.
The medical center allows a family member, friend or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of their stay. The medical center allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient's choice, unless the individual's presence infringes on others’ rights or safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative.
The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
When faced with difficult decisions about health care, you may struggle with the question of "what should be done?" These resources can help you deal with tough decisions about health care and how to plan for it.
Report patient quality of care concerns
Visit the Joint Commission page to report concerns you have about the quality of patient care.