An Essential Care Partner (ECP) is a support person whose presence is considered essential to the safety and well-being of a patient while they are in the hospital. Most often, they are family or close friends of the patient who typically know the patient’s health history, lifestyle and personal values.
Visitors are people who come to the hospital to have a social visit with a patient.
An ECP is chosen by the patient or their Substitute Decision Maker (SDM). An ECP provides essential care and support to the patient while they are in the hospital.
There are many ways an ECP can help their loved one. Some examples could include:
As much as possible, every patient who wants an ECP should have access to one. However, there are certain instances and areas where ECPs may not be permitted for safety reasons.
Patients can request an ECP before or after being admitted to the hospital. Please let your health-care team know you would like one and they can tell you the next steps.
Technologies like Zoom or Facetime can be safe and effective ways for ECPs to provide cognitive and emotional support to their loved one. ECPs should talk to the care team about setting up a virtual visit.
ECPs who come to the hospital in person should
This guide was created by patients and staff at The Ottawa Hospital to support ECPs.
Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe.