A grandmother sits in a hospital bed.

Patient Safety

Ensuring patient safety is a fundamental element of high quality healthcare. To this end, South Huron Hospital (SHH) supports a culture of safety for patients by including them and their families when making decisions surrounding safety and quality improvement initiatives.

Please report any safety concerns or incidents to a member of your healthcare team as soon as possible.

Alarms/Emergency Situations

During your hospital visit, you may hear various alarms or hospital codes announced overhead. When you hear the alarm/overhead page, stay where you are and remain calm. We will inform you should any action become necessary. Please stay where you are until the “all clear” signal is given. Elevators or telephones must not be used when there is a fire or a fire drill.

Falls Prevention

Falls are a common concern for patients and can result in more pain and suffering, a setback in healing, or a longer hospital stay. When you are hospitalized, your risk of falling may be greater due to medication side effects, new and/or unfamiliar environments, and physical weakness. To help prevent a fall, follow these guidelines:

  • Call for assistance any time you feel you need it.
  • Be aware of the activity level that the doctor has ordered for you or your loved one (i.e. bed rest, bathroom requirements). Please check with your nurse to find out what activity level is ordered for you.
  • If you use a cane or walker at home, you should use them here, as well. If using a cane or walker is new to you, we have therapists who can teach you how to use these. Ask your nurse or doctor if this help is needed.
  • If a visitor lowers the side rails of the bed, please ensure the rails are raised again before leaving.
  • Report spilled liquids, obstacles, or other safety risks that you may come across, to hospital staff.

Hospital Security

All hospital staff and volunteers are required to wear their photo identification badge. This badge assures you that the person who delivers your care is a hospital employee. Do not be afraid to ask a person their name if you are not able to read their badge. Please notify a staff member immediately if you observe suspicious activity, suspicious individuals, have a security concern, or if you have lost a personal item.

A wide range of security measures are in place for your safety and protection including 24-hour video surveillance cameras and locked doors.


When you are admitted to hospital or visit our Emergency Department, an identification armband will be applied to your wrist. You may or may not have an additional coloured bracelet applied depending on your needs. This serves as a communication mechanism for all team members. We ask that you please do not remove your bracelet until you are discharged from hospital. If you require a replacement bracelet, please notify nursing staff as soon as possible.

Infection Control and Prevention

Infection control and prevention is everyone’s concern. We want to prevent and manage infections to keep patients, staff, and visitors safe.

First, clean your hands regularly with soap and water, and use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer located throughout the hospital. Cleaning your hands is important before entering or leaving the hospital, before and after patient contact, after using the washroom, and before eating.

A coloured sign hanging at the entrance of a patient’s room indicates that extra infection control practices are required when visiting or caring for the patient. This may involve putting on a gown, gloves, or a mask. These items will be located outside of the patient’s room. To prevent the spread of infection, visitors should not visit other patients in the hospital after being in an isolation room. Visitors should never hesitate to ask staff for assistance if unsure of signage.

Scents, Flowers & Balloons

Out of respect to those who may be sensitive to scents, and in accordance with hospital policy, perfume, after-shave, cologne, other scented personal care products, as well as strong smelling flowers (i.e. lilies and hyacinths) are not permitted in the hospital. We request that you, your family, and visitors use scent-free products while in hospital.

Additionally, latex balloons are not permitted. Alternatively, mylar (foil) balloons are safe, and are permitted inside the hospital.

Smoke/Vape-Free Environment

Smoking and/or Vaping is not permitted within the facility of SHH, or on the hospital property. This includes the parking lots and inside cars parked in the parking lots.

Zero Tolerance to Violence

SHH is committed to providing a safe, healthy, secure and respectful working environment, in which to work, visit or receive care through the prevention of violence, abuse, bullying and aggressive behaviour. We treat our employees and patients with dignity, respect, care and compassion.

SHH has a legal and ethical duty to provide staff with a safe workplace. Violence in the workplace can have devastating effects on the quality of life for our employees and on the productivity of the organization.

Any act of violence, abuse or aggression toward any patient, visitor or member of staff, will not be permitted. We reserve the right to take appropriate measures, which may include requesting a visitor to leave.

Where required, and as necessary, incidents of verbal or physical abuse, threats or assaults may be dealt with by calling the Ontario Provincial Police.