Patient, Family & Caregiver Experience

Patient Safety is a priority at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) and is embedded at all levels of the organization. The goal of any quality initiative at HPHA is to further develop and foster a culture of safety that will benefit our patients and families, staff and physicians.

HPHA recognizes that patient safety is everyone's responsibility. In our commitment to openness and transparency, we invite patients and family members to communicate any safety concerns to any health care team member so corrective action may be taken.

We Are an Accredited Healthcare Organization

As an Accredited health care provider, we are investing time and resources to meet rigorous standards. Our policies, processes, and practices help minimize risk and deliver safer care.

Key Patient Safety Information

This section focuses on key patient safety information that identifies a number of different ways in which health care providers at HPHA can partner with you and your family to ensure your safety while in hospital and result in a positive patient experience.

Click on a subject below to learn more!

Falls Prevention

Falls are a major cause of injury in Canadian hospitals. Some medical conditions, medications and an increase in time spent in bed in an unfamiliar environment can diminish your strength, alter your balance and put you at risk for falling.

Every patient, other than newborns and non-ambulatory infants, will have a falls assessment completed upon admission to the hospital. If you have been identified as a high risk for falls, you will be required to wear a yellow wristband and a falls risk sign will be placed at the bedside to alert health care providers of this risk. Additional ways to prevent falls will be included in your care plan.

You and your family can minimize your risk by:

  • Telling your health care team if you have had a fall in the past.
  • Wearing proper non-skid/non-slip supportive footwear with rubber soles. Do not walk around your room wearing only stockings or socks!
  • Making sure that your clothing fits properly and does not drag on the floor.
  • Ensuring that your call bell is within your reach to call for assistance.
  • Using the call bell to request help and waiting for assistance to go to the bathroom safely, to move from bed to chair and/or to get out of bed when this has been requested of you.
  • Keeping personal items such as the phone within easy reach.
  • Telling your health care team member if you usually need to go to the bathroom often, in a hurry or if you normally go to the bathroom during the night.
  • Not leaning on bedside tables, furniture, IV poles and other hospital items as these are often on wheels.
  • Wearing your glasses and hearing aids.
  • Using your prescribed aid (walker or cane) for walking and moving about your room.
  • Using the handrails and grab bars located in each of the rooms if you have not been prescribed an aid.
Families/friends should notify a health care team member if the patient has difficulty with memory or concentration.

Hand Washing

Clean hands are one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs that can cause infection and illness.

Staff, patients, families and visitors all play an important role in reducing the spread of infectious diseases by washing their hands regularly and thoroughly. Hand sanitizer stations are located in all main lobbies, on patient care units and outside and inside patient rooms. Please advise a staff member if a hand sanitizer pump is not working.

It is not enough to just practice good hand hygiene in health care settings. Serious infections can be picked up anywhere and without knowing it, you can become ill or spread that illness to someone else. Wash your hands with soap and water when they are visibly soiled. In every other case, and if you are unable to get to a sink, use an alcohol based hand rub.



Public Health Ontario: How to Hand Rub

Public Health Ontario: How to Hand Wash

Feel free to ask everyone who enters your room to clean their hands if you do not see them do so.

Isolation Precautions

Patients may be placed in isolation for many reasons, including:

  • symptoms of influenza such as a cough and fever
  • contact with an infectious disease or organism
  • diarrhea and/or vomiting
  • history of having an antibiotic-resistant organism such as MRSA
Patients may be placed in isolation for some or all of their stay. When a patient is in isolation, signs are placed at the entrance to the patient room and all who enter must follow the necessary precautions according to the sign. This may include wearing personal protective equipment such as a gown, gloves, mask and eye protection. Personal protective equipment is removed before leaving the room.

Patient & Family Information

Medication Safety

Medications play a vital role in your medical treatment and healing process. It is very important that your health care providers are aware of all medications (including prescription, non-prescription, traditional, holistic, herbal, vitamins and supplements) you are taking to help us provide you with the best care.

When you come to the hospital, you can help us to ensure your safety by:
  • Telling your health care provider what prescriptions, vitamins, herbal remedies, food supplements and/or over the counter medications you are taking.
  • Bringing all of your medications in their original containers with you. If you are unable to bring the original containers with you, you can obtain a current list of your prescribed medications from your pharmacist.
  • Letting your health care provider(s) know if you get prescriptions from more than one physician or more than one pharmacy.
  • Alerting your health care provider if you take medication differently than how it is printed on the container.
  • Understanding what you take and why, when and how you need to take the medication.
While in hospital your home medication list is compared to prescribed medications while in hospital to alert your health care team to any possible interactions or missed medications. This process is called Medication Reconciliation and is completed each time you move from one service area to another.
  • Ask your health care provider about the medication being administered.
  • If you notice that a medication you are given looks different from the one you take at home, ask your nurse to verify it.
  • Home medications are not allowed to be kept at your bedside unless authorized by your physician. After your medications have been reviewed, your family is encouraged to take any medications you may have brought with you back to your home.
  • Only take those medications that have been prescribed for you while in hospital. DO NOT take medications brought in from home unless authorized by your physician. This puts you at risk of duplication of a medication and/or a serious drug interaction/reaction.
  • Nurses will give you medications ordered by your physician/consultant according to HPHA standard administration times. These may vary slightly from when you normally take your medication at home.
  • If you have any questions about your medications, ask a member of your health care team.
Upon your discharge we will again compare your list of prescribed medications while in hospital to your home medication list.
  • We will provide you with an updated list of the medications that you will be instructed to continue to take upon your return home and tell you which medications must be discarded.
  • You should have an understanding of what your discharge medications are, why they are needed, how and when you need to take them and possible side effects.
  • Seek clarification around any instructions regarding your medications if required.
  • Know who to contact should additional questions about your medications arise.

Patient Identification

Correct patient identification prior to any medication, treatment or procedure is important to prevent errors in patient care. HPHA is committed to ensuring the safety of our patients by requiring staff to confirm your identification using a double patient identifier method prior to initiating any medical treatment or procedure.

Upon your admission, you will have a band containing your specific personal identification information applied to your wrist. In pediatric cases, this may be placed around the ankle for comfort.

Please notify a staff member immediately if any of this information is wrong. To ensure your safety, we will check or scan your ID band and ask you to confirm your identity many times during your visit, for example before you receive medications and before tests and/or procedures.

Your identification band needs to be discarded in a secure manner as it includes personal identity information that needs to be treated confidentially. If your identification band is not removed when you are discharged, please ensure when you remove it that the band is destroyed (as you would with an expired credit card!).

Preventing Blood Clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis)

A blood clot (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) can form in a deep vein, often in the calf or thigh. The clot can partially or completely block blood flow and damage blood vessels. If a blood clot breaks free, it can travel to the lungs and cause pulmonary embolus which can be serious.

Blood Clot (DVT) Risk Factors

The risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) is greatest during the 10 days following surgery. Other common risk factors for a blood clot (DVT) include:
  • Limited mobility
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Respiratory failure
  • Medications such as birth control pills
  • Personal or family history of venous thromboembolism
  • Age – those who are 40 and older have a greater risk

Preventing the Development of a Blood Clot (DVT)

There are things you can do to prevent blood clots. Your physician and nurse will work with you to determine the prevention methods that are right for you.
  • Exercising your lower leg muscles is important especially when you sit for long periods of time as it decreases the pooling of blood in your legs. Try and do exercises like toe lifts and ankle rotations several times a day. If you have had surgery, it is important to move as soon as possible and as prescribed by your physician.
  • Your physician may prescribe elastic compression stockings to help prevent blood clots.

Prevention Exercises

Toe lifts—With your heels on the floor, lift the toes and front of the foot as high as possible then put both feet flat on the floor. This keeps your calf muscles working to prevent blood from pooling.

Ankle Rotation—Rotate your feet clockwise and counterclockwise for 30 seconds as shown. Sit with your knee bent and circle your foot, first clockwise then counterclockwise. While doing the exercises, be sure that you are only moving your foot at the ankle. Your leg or knee should not move.

This information is also available in a Patient, Family & Caregiver Education handout - Preventing Blood Clots.   

Preventing Pressure Injuries

Pressure injuries (bedsores) are caused by constant pressure or friction on any part of the body. When you lie or sit down in the same position for a for a period of time, pressure is applied to parts of your body that damages skin and the underlying tissue.

Every patient is checked daily for risk of pressure injuries. If you have a pressure injury, your nurse will check your wound and recommend the best treatments.

Click below for more information about pressure injuries from the South West Regional Wound Care Program

Scents, Flowers & Balloons

Scents & Flowers

In respect of those who may be sensitive to scents, we request that you, your family and visitors use scent-free products and refrain from wearing perfumes or colognes.

We also ask that you do not have strongly scented flowers in your room.


In consideration of those who may suffer from chemical sensitivities, latex balloons are not permitted. Balloons manufactured from alternative materials, such as Mylar, are acceptable.

Smoke/Vape-Free Alliance

HPHA is committed to providing the highest possible standard of care, and encouraging wellness in its patients, visitors, staff, physicians and the community.

Smoking and vaping are not allowed in any area of HPHA hospital sites, including the grounds and parking lots. This includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars or pipes containing burning tobacco, or any other substance (such as cannabis) that can be smoked in any other manner.

Anyone wishing to smoke or vape is required to leave Hospital property. Patients requiring assistance to leave the property to smoke or vape will require someone to assist them. Inpatients leaving the hospital grounds to smoke or vape are required to sign a waiver accepting personal responsibility regarding equipment they may take with them (e.g. wheelchair, IV pole) or should any personal injury occur. Patients who are interested in strategies to not smoke or vape are encouraged to discuss these with their health care providers.

If you are someone who smokes or vapes, the single best thing you can do to improve your health is to stop.

Here are some resources that may be helpful in your journey to quit smoking or vaping:

Huron Perth Public Health – Stop Smoking

The Huron Perth Public Health Unit can provide quit smoking support, links to community resources and if you are eligible, can provide free nicotine replacement therapy.

In Huron County, call 1-888-221-2133 and ask to speak to the smoking cessation public health nurse.

In Perth County, call 1-888-221-2133 ext. 3722

Smokers' Helpline – 1-877-513-5333 or smokershelpline.ca

The Smokers' Helpline is a great free service that provides personalized advice and counselling over the phone. They also have text messaging support and online tools to help individuals wanting to quit smoking.

Click here to visit the Smokers' Helpline