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Policies

Find VA policies on privacy and patient rights, family rights, visitation, and more.

Privacy and patient rights

Read VA's national privacy and patient rights policies

Family rights

Read VA's national family rights policy

Visitation policy

Important Update to Tampa VA’s COVID-19 Positive Inpatient Visitation Policy

As of July 27, 2022, this policy update reflects our pandemic response stance on COVID-19 positive inpatient visitation.

For inpatients who test negative for COVID-19, the visitation policy remains – one visitor, per patient, per day for inpatients throughout the facility.

However, for admitted COVID-19 positive patients we continue to promote virtual visitation, and we can safely expand visitation for positive COVID-19 patients within a limited manner and with the following specific requirements:

•          1 visitor (free of signs/symptoms of COVID-19) only, per day

•          Visitors will not rotate throughout the day

•          1 hour time limit for visit, per day

•          Full personal protective equipment (PPE) is required

•          We will help the visitor with putting on and removing PPE and will provide information explaining the risk

•          Visitor is required to wear a hospital-provided new Level 3 mask upon entry and will be given a new mask to wear upon exiting the patient’s room

•          Visitation hours for COVID-19 positive patients are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

•          As stated, we continue to promote virtual visitation.

*Non-positive COVID-19 inpatient visitation hours remain unchanged.  

Important Updates to Tampa VA’s Visitation Policy – as of May 19, 2022

We have reviewed our visitation policy, and the following visitation guidelines are effective:

Visitation is allowed throughout the facility, limited to one visitor, per patient, per day for patients that have not been diagnosed with COVID-19. Please check in on arrival and wear a mask throughout the visit.

For visits to Hospice, Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Community Living Center (CLC), please call to coordinate visit.

For visits to the Emergency Department, one person may accompany the patient.

Visitation is dependent on operational status of the facility (e.g., weather, safety). We will make every effort to accommodate patient visits.

  • Surgical patients are not permitted to have visitors or caregivers accompany patients to the perioperative area.
  • Veterans who require the assistance of a caregiver to attend their outpatient appointment, are permitted to have one companion.
  • As a reminder, everyone who enters our facilities is required to undergo screening and wear a mask prior to being granted entry.

We will provide updates to this policy as they become available.

Things to Know

Conduct

  • Do not use alcohol or illegal drugs and do not gamble here while on VA property.
  • Do not enter areas that are posted “No Patients Beyond This Point.”
  • Please be considerate of others while you are here. Keep your voices quiet and the television and radio volumes low so you do not disturb other patients. If anyone bothers you by using a loud voice or bad language, let a nurse know.
  • Do not tape record or videotape any conversations with the health care team or other patients without their written permission.

Clergy

Members of the clergy are welcome to visit patients who are members of their particular religious group at any time at the discretion of the unit physicians or nurses.

Smoking

Do not smoke anywhere in our buildings or near the entrances to the buildings. We are a smoke-free environment. Designated smoking areas are located in designated areas outside the buildings. If you smoke within the hospital, you are subject to fines and other disciplinary actions.

Weapons

Do not bring any weapons onto VA property. Everyone is subject to inspection of all packages in their possession. Refusal of consent to inspection is basis for denial of entry onto VA property. If you have any weapons, you must give them to the VA Police to hold during your stay here.


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.

Security 

JAHVH has a police service. Our officers provide 24-hour patrols of the facility and parking lots. For general police assistance while on hospital grounds, dial 7554. In case of an emergency, dial 1440. Report all suspicious or criminal activity, vehicle accidents, and personal property losses to the VA Police while on the facility grounds as soon as possible.

Our parking lots are also equipped with emergency phones that automatically ring the security office when picked up.

Because the VA hospital is federal property, all persons and bags are subject to search. In addition, no weapons, alcohol, or illegal drugs are permitted.

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.

Advance directives

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.

Health Care Ethics Resources for Veterans, Patients, and Families

VA Form 10-0137 - VA Advance Directive: Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will

What You Should Know about Advance Directives

Report patient quality of care concerns

Visit the Joint Commission page to report concerns you have about the quality of patient care.