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Visiting Policies and Hours

Last Updated Tuesday, August 14, 2012 8:36:08 AM

From our Mountain View campus, with its large private rooms and family waiting areas, to our friendly Los Gatos campus we offer our patients and visitors an open visiting policy, unless otherwise noted for specific departments below. We know that visits from loved ones can contribute to the patient’s healing. Families can also help identify and respond to patient concerns.

Our nurses and other caregivers are committed to maintaining a patient-family centered environment on our campuses, and they will make every effort to accommodate visits to our patients. Some nursing units may have unique visiting guidelines because of the type of patients being cared for there, or the size of the patient care areas or rooms.

Visitation rights include the right to receive the visitors designated by the patient, including but not limited to a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend. Also included is the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.

The hospital will not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

The hospital has the right to rescind the visitation hours and rights based upon the safety and welfare of the patient and the hospital staff, and as necessary in order to conduct normal hospital operations. The reasons for the clinical restriction or limitation must be explained to the patient and family. 

At certain times or in certain situations, staff may need to limit visiting hours for the patient. The reasons may include:

  • A patient’s medical condition
  • The family’s health and safety
  • A patient’s wish for privacy or uninterrupted rest time
  • A non-private room
  • The need for a sterile environment
  • Any court order limiting or restraining contact
  • Behavior presenting a direct risk or threat to the patient, hospital staff, or others in the immediate environment
  • Behavior disruptive of the functioning of the patient care unit
  • Patient’s risk of infection by the visitor
  • Visitor’s risk of infection by the patient
  • Extraordinary protections because of a pandemic or infectious disease outbreak
  • Substance abuse treatment protocols requiring restricted visitation

For our patients' comfort, we ask that you follow these guidelines when visiting our hospitals:

  • Assure a restful atmosphere by limiting visitors to two at a time.
  • Observe the visiting hours listed below or posted in the hospital.
  • Refrain from bringing latex balloons into the hospital to minimize latex exposure for patients and staff who may be at risk for latex allergies.

We maintain a smoking-free and tobacco-free environment in our facilities and on our campuses. Tobacco use by staff, patients and visitors is prohibited. We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment that also encourages positive health behaviors. Being a smoking-free and tobacco-free campus supports that commitment to the health and well-being of our community, patients, staff and volunteers.

El Camino Hospital offers the Staying Free Smoking Cessation Program and Ash Kickers Classes for those who want to kick the smoking habit. For more information, call 650-988-8225.

To Obtain Information About a Patient

To reach a patient by telephone at El Camino Hospital, dial the main hospital number--650-940-7000 for the Mountain View campus or 408-378-6131 for the Los Gatos campus--and ask for the patient by name or room number. (See visiting hours for Mountain View and Los Gatos below).

To protect private medical information, callers will be given limited or no information about a patient's location in the hospital and/or medical condition without permission to do so from the patient.

Mountain View Visiting Hours

The Mountain View hospital maintains an open visiting policy, unless otherwise noted for the specific departments listed below. Visiting hours are subject to change.

Behavioral Health Services
Mountain View: 650-940-7291

Please limit visitors to two at a time.
Visitors must be 16 or older.
Visiting permitted 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Holiday visiting hours: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Critical Care Unit
Mountain View: 650-940-7175

Before you visit, please stop at the critical care unit waiting room desk. Check with the volunteer, or use the phone to dial 7175, to ask if it is an appropriate time to visit.

Visiting hours are flexible and subject to the discretion of the patient’s nurse. The decision to allow visitors is based on a combination of factors that may vary from hour to hour.

Please limit the number of visitors to two at a time. All visits are allowed at the staff's discretion.

Children under the age of 12 are not allowed unless special arrangements have been made with the patient’s nurse. Children older than 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Flowers and plants are not allowed in the critical care unit. Pictures and cards are welcome.

Food for the patient may only be brought in with prior approval by the patient’s nurse. See our Critical Care Unit Visitor Information brochure.

Mountain View, Orchard Pavilion: 650-940-7150

Visiting is permitted from 12:00 p.m. to 8 p.m., but fathers and partners may visit anytime.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Mountain View, Orchard Pavilion: 650-940-7163

Visitors must be 16 or older. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff encourages parents of NICU babies to schedule visits at any time with a few exceptions: Mondays at 1:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. during Multidisciplinary Plan of Care Rounds, the change of shift reports (7 a.m., 3 p.m., and 11 p.m.), and if there are special procedures being performed on the unit. Grandparents are allowed to visit; however, only two visitors are allowed at the bedside at one time, one of which must be a banded parent.

Progressive Care Unit
Mountain View: 650-940-7135

We have a quiet time for patients between 2:30 and 4:00 p.m., but we do not restrict visitors during that time. Visiting guidelines are subject to the discretion of the patient’s nurse. The decision to allow visitors is based on a combination of factors that may vary from hour to hour.

Before entering the progressive care unit, call the nurses’ station from the waiting room
(ext. 7135) to find out if it’s an appropriate time to visit.

Please limit the number of visitors to two at a time, unless a nurse has approved additional
visitors beforehand.

All children under 10 must remain in the waiting room with adult supervision.

When sitting in a patient’s room, please use the chairs; do not sit on or use any of the beds.

Other restrictions:

  • Pets are not allowed, except Seeing Eye or therapy dogs.
  • As a courtesy to others, please restrict the use of
  • cell phones to the waiting room.
  • Food is not allowed in the waiting room.
  • To protect patient confidentiality, information is not given to friends or co-workers.

Please designate one family member as your “point person” to receive patient updates. Please keep visitors in the waiting room to a minimum; when the waiting room is crowded,
the staff may ask some members of large families to wait in the main hospital lobby. See our Progressive Care Unit visiting policy.

Los Gatos Visiting Hours

Visitors must be 16 or older in all units. Visiting policies may differ from one department to another, and visiting hours are subject to change; please note the visiting policies and hours for each department listed below or download a PDF file of our Los Gatos Visitor's Guide.

Medical, Surgical and Post-Partum: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Labor and Delivery
: Designated by patient

: Restricted to parents and grandparents

Operating Room, Recovery
: Restricted

Outpatient Surgery
: Restricted

Critical Care Unit
: Permitted at staff's discretion at most times, except:

6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Communicating with Family and Friends

There are many on-line services that can help you update family and friends during a hospital stay or illness. El Camino Hospital provides the following links to these services for your convenience.