Patient Updates and Password System

The best source of information is often the bedside nurse caring for the patient. All members of the team who are caring for the patient are updated daily during 'rounds' and can help loved ones stay informed. If you wish to meet with a member of the ICU physician team (e.g., consultants, ICU Fellow, or residents), please talk with the bedside nurse or the ICU social worker. Each of these people can help arrange a time when the doctor can speak with you.

Detailed information about a patient’s health will only be released to the power of attorney for personal care (POA-PC) or substitute decision maker (SDM), and those who have the password (see below for information about the password).

It is helpful for our team to have one person who is designated as the family spokesperson to contact when setting up family meetings and/or updating on patient status. This spokesperson can coordinate information sharing amongst the rest of the family/loved ones. This will help keep everyone ‘on the same page’ and allow staff to focus on caring for the patient.

What Are Rounds?

The ICU has morning and afternoon rounds with the interdisciplinary team. These rounds allow the team to discuss, develop and evaluate a plan of care for each patient. 

The morning round starts at 8:30 a.m. in our team room. Morning rounds can last between 1-3 hours. Afternoon rounds begin around 3:30 pm and are held at the bedside. Due to the care needs and close proximity of patients to each other, and our obligation to protect the privacy of our patients, you may be asked to temporarily leave the ICU during afternoon rounds. Please assured we will do our best to get you back to the bedside as soon as possible.

What is the password system?

In order to protect patients’ personal health information, we have a 'password' system that is to be used by all loved ones/family members when requesting patient information or a medical update. This password is needed when asking for information by phone or at the bedside while visiting.

Often patients in our ICU are not able to tell the ICU team who can have access to their personal health information. The ICU then relies on the POA-PC or SDM to identify a password that must be stated by anyone asking for patient information. It is the responsibility of the POA-PC or SDM to share the password with the people that patient would want to share his/her health information with.

This password is not meant to be used as a deterrent to visiting patients. It is not required to visit a patient; however, it will be required at the bed side if information is requested.

We appreciate your cooperation and thank you for helping us protect the patient’s right to privacy, and determining who can access his/her personal health information.