Patient Safety

What you can do for a safe stay at the hospital

Staying or receiving treatments in a hospital might be stressful for some people. Being informed and involved in you care plan will make your stay safer and more pleasant. Patients who participate in their health care usually have a faster and better recovery than patients who don’t.

If you have a patient safety concern, please contact the HGH Quality and Risk Management Office at 613-632-1111, extension 41800.

Understanding your care and treatment

When you talk to your health-care professional, ask the following questions to better understand your health condition:

  • What is my main problem?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Why is it important?

If you don’t understand, ask for more explanations.


Inform the nursing staff if you have allergies.

  • Perfumes, hand lotions, aftershave and other beauty products have scents that can trigger allergic reactions or irritations. Please do not wear scented products and ask your visitors to refrain from wearing them.
  • Latex may cause severe allergic reactions. Latex balloons are not permitted in the hospital. You may buy balloons made of mylar (aluminum) at the gift shop.

Falls prevention

Your illness, surgery or medication can make you more likely to fall. Please inform the nursing staff if you had a fall in the past three months as you could be at risk of falling again.

Take these precautions to avoid falls.

  • Use the equipment at your disposal: side rails of your bed, grab bars in the bathroom and handrails in the hallways.
  • Keep your call button, eyeglasses, telephone and other personal items within easy reach.
  • Ask the nursing staff if you need help with tasks such as getting in and out of bed, going to the bathroom or moving around.
  • If you are asked not to get out of bed without help, please wait for assistance.
  • If you feel dizzy, notify the nursing staff.
  • Rubber-soled slippers are best. Avoid bathrobes or pants that drag on the floor.
  • Your bed should be low enough for your feet to touch the floor when getting up. If not, ask the nursing staff to adjust the height.
  • Bring your cane, walker or wheelchair, if necessary, and use them at all times.
  • If you use a wheelchair, make sure the brakes are on before sitting down.
  • Notify the nursing staff if you see puddles on the floor.

Identity verification

  • All physicians, staff and volunteers wear a photo identification badge.
  • Staff must establish your identity before providing care.
  • If you are unsure of a person’s identity or purpose in your room, it is OK to ask them their name and to show you their badge.


The right type of medication and the right dosage are important to your treatment.

  • Bring the list of medications that you are currently taking. Indicate the dosage (quantity and frequency). Your pharmacy may help you with this list. It should include all your prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines.
  • If you have had an adverse reaction to medication or if you have allergies, tell the nursing staff.
  • If your medication looks unfamiliar, do not take it and notify the nursing staff.
  • Never use medications prescribed to someone else, as they may be harmful to your health.


Please inform nursing staff if you think you may be pregnant.