Visitor Policies

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a patient- and family-focused environment. We appreciate the need of our patients to have visitors and the need of family and friends to provide support to their loved one while in the hospital.

In respecting the care and comfort needs of our patients, visitors are generally welcome between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. Under certain circumstances a designated support person may have overnight visitation on some nursing units if it does not interfere with the medical care and treatment of our patients. A support person may be a spouse, adult child, parent, close relative, friend, domestic partner, and both different sex and same sex significant others.

In addition:

  • Age of visitors: Children under the age of 12 are permitted only if they are siblings, children, or grandchildren of patients. Children must have adult supervision (other than the patient) at all times.
  • Visitors’ health: All visitors must be free of infection or communicable diseases. Friends and family with fever, flu-like symptoms, or other symptoms of infection should not visit.
  • Number of visitors: It is usually best to limit visitors to two at a time, to respect the comfort of all our patients. Family waiting rooms at the Bretholtz Center and Shapiro Center are available for visitors when they are not able to be in the patient’s room. We also offer seating in the lobbies of 75 Francis Street, 45 Francis Street, and 15 Francis Street, as well as a surgical waiting area in Tower 1.
  • No smoking: Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a smoke-free facility.
  • No weapons: BWH Security prohibits anyone on hospital property from possessing a weapon, except for law enforcement officers, corrections officers escorting a patient, and armored car officers when transporting currency.
  • Restricted cell phone use: Cellular phones may not be used within six feet of any electronic patient care equipment.
  • Restricted flower deliveries: Please note that flower delivery may be restricted in intensive care units as well as other patient care areas, such as oncology units. We encourage you to check in with the nursing staff before sending or bringing flowers. For your convenience, you may order flowers through our gift and floral shop.
  • No latex balloons: Latex balloons are not permitted in the hospital. Mylar balloons are appreciated.
  • Visits after 9 pm: Visitors entering the hospital after 9 p.m. must enter through the 75 Francis Street lobby. The security officer will contact the patient’s unit with the visitor’s name. The nurse responsible for the patient will support the need for the visit based on the patient’s medical condition, safety concerns, or preference for visitors.
  • Patient status: Family and friends may inquire about a patient’s status by calling 617-732-5500. Immediate family are asked to please identify one primary family member to contact the patient’s nurse directly on the unit. (Please note: Patients have the right to limit access to information, condition and visitors.)


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