Visitor Guidelines

Culture of Safety and Privacy

In order to provide a culture of safety and privacy for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors, Eastern State Hospital - ESH enforces the following visitor directives.

  1. Possession of alcohol, illegal drugs or firearms anywhere on the campus without proper authority is a felony.
  2. Any threat to commit a violent act upon a patient, staff person or the facility is a gross misdemeanor.
  3. All persons entering the nursing wards are subject to a search of all hand-carried items and a body scan with a metal detector.
  4. Due to patient confidentiality laws, no cameras or capturing  photos of any kind is permitted on campus without prior approval.

ESH visitors are required to register at either the Eastlake or Westlake switchboard - depending on where the patient is admitted.  Visitors must present photo identification and the following information to the receptionist.

  • Name of the person to be visited
  • Purpose of the visit
  • Visitor's name, address and relationship to the patient

After receiving the required information, the switchboard contacts the ward to verify that the visitor is on the patient's visitor list.  All visitors are given a visitor's name tag which must be worn throughout the visit, and returned to the switchboard at the conclusion of the visit.  At times, there may be a visitation restriction placed on a patient as a result of:

  • A clinical issue
  • Misconduct
  • An alleged illegal activity

If there is a patient restriction in place, the patient is not allowed to have visitors.

Children Visitors

  • In order for children visitors to be on a ward, special arrangements must be made and approved twenty-four hours in advance.
  • Visitors under the age of 16, must be accompanied and monitored by an adult  throughout their entire visit.
  • If appropriate, staff will provide a quiet area for the visit, and will check every 15 minutes on the patient's visitor while he/she is on the ward.
  • If the patient has a responsibility level that permits time off the ward without a staff escort, visitation may occur at other areas on the campus.

Patient Items Supplied by Visitors 

  • Switchboard DOES NOT accept items from visitors for patients or staff.
  • All items (for example, food, medications, and all other gifts/property) brought in for patients by his/her visitor(s) must be inspected and approved by the nursing staff, and be consistent with the patient’s treatment plan prior to being shown, given, or presented to the patient.
  • Clothing and other items  brought in by visitors and are kept by the patient, are logged on the patient's personal property form.