As a Regional Centre of Excellence,
Southlake strives to always ‘Put Patients
First’ by providing safe and effective care
for those we serve. Patient safety is built
on a firm partnership between patients/
families, and healthcare professionals.
At Southlake, we are committed to
making your safety our top priority. We
recognize that patients and families can
make their healthcare safer by being
active, involved, and informed members
of their healthcare team. This brochure
has been developed to provide you with
simple advice and basic tips on how
together we can make your healthcare
experience shockingly excellent.
So Tell Us, Ask Us, Help Us Keep You Safe.
Tell your healthcare professionals about your past and your health concerns. We will respect the confidentiality and privacy of your health information.
- Who is your current family physician/community healthcare provider?
- Do you have any allergies to medications, foods, or the environment?
- Do you currently take any medications?
Do you currently take any medications? Keep a
list of the recent medications you are taking,
including how they are taken, how much you
take of each (dose), and how often you take
them. Your community pharmacist can help you
to update your medication list, including
prescription and over-the-counter medications,
vitamins or supplements, herbal, recreational
drugs, and tobacco/nicotine patch use.
If you have any safety, service concerns
Get the information you need to make informed
choices by asking us the following:
- What is my health problem or diagnosis?
- What tests or treatments do I need? Why?
What are the risks?
- What are my test results?
- What are my options?
- What choices do I have between various
- What is the next step in my care/treatment?
- What are my new medications?
- Do they replace any current medications?
- What are they for?
- What are the side effects to watch for?
To ensure your safety, our staff will review your
understanding of this information. Never leave
us with unasked questions; always ask us if you
Get the information you need before leaving the hospital.
- What is the plan for my care?
- Whom do I call if I have questions about my plan of care?
- What has changed about my health?
- When can I return to my normal activities?
- Do I understand the medications I am taking?
- Why am I taking them?
- How do I take them?
- What side effects should I be watching for?
- What signs and symptoms should I be watching for and what should I do if they arise?
- What follow-up arrangements are in place and what do I need to arrange for myself?
To ensure your ongoing safety, it is important that you get all the information you need before you leave our care.
Help Us Keep You Safe
You and your family have an important role to play in your safety.
To prevent falls while in the hospital:
- Use your call bell where available, or ask
for help before getting up
- Bring your mobility aids and non-slip
footwear with you to the hospital
- Inform your healthcare provider if you are
uncomfortable, need to go to the bathroom, or
cannot reach your belongings
To protect you and your family from infection:
- Wash your hands before and after eating,
after using the toilet, or after blowing
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your
- Ask your family members not to visit
if they are sick. Advise your family and
friends who visit you to clean their hands
before and after visiting.
- Check with your healthcare team before
you have visitors, especially if you are in
- Ask your healthcare providers to clean
their hands, if they have not already
To ensure you receive your treatment safely:
- Know who we are and why we are part of
your team. Each member of your
healthcare team should be wearing a
visible Southlake identification badge
- Wear your hospital identification bracelet
– provided for your safety
- Before any tests or procedures, or when
taking any medications. make sure your
healthcare team checks your
identification or asks you to state your
name and birth date
To ensure your safety, our staff will review
important instructions with you. Make sure
that you understand your role in patient safety
during any hospital visit.
Your Healthcare, Be Involved
One of the keys to getting
the best healthcare is to be an active member of your healthcare team. This means participating and being involved in every decision of your care and understanding your role in patient safety during your visit. The Ontario Hospital Association's Safety Support Service brochure “Your Healthcare Be Involved”
discusses ways for you to be involved.
Southlake regularly updates our performance on key patient safety measures on our website. Click here
to learn more about our key quality and patient safety initiatives and see our results.
Other Information for Your Safety
Alcohol, natural remedies, and vitamins may interfere with your treatment and cause serious side effects when taken with prescribed medications. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited unless ordered by your doctor and administered by a nurse.
For the protection of patients, staff and visitors who may have a latex sensitivity/allergy, Southlake Regional Health Centre does not permit latex products being brought into the Hospital. If you are a patient with a latex sensitivity/allergy, inform a health care professional at admission. Latex balloons also create a safety risk to children should a piece accidentally be inhaled. Foil balloons are acceptable.
Cellular Phones and Walkie-Talkies
The use of cellular phones and walkie-talkies in the Hospital is permitted only in areas marked by appropriate signage. Please watch for these signs. In areas where the use of cellular phones and walkie talkies is not permitted, these devices must be completely turned off; they cannot be operated in stand-by mode as they can interfere with the operation of critical medical equipment used for patient care.
Please note: portable phones carried by Hospital staff operate on a lower frequency and do not affect the operation of medical equipment.
You may hear one of our regular fire drills ("Code Red") during your hospital stay. If you are on your patient care unit when you hear the alarm, please return to your room and keep your door closed. If you are in another area of the Hospital such as the Cafeteria or Gift Shop, please remain where you are until the "all clear" signal is given. A staff member will inform you should any action become necessary.
During your stay at Southlake, all physicians, staff, student, and volunteers responsible for your care will display current Hospital identification. Hospital identification includes the name, department and picture of the staff member. Student identification badges will read “Students” with the Southlake logo.
If at any time during your stay, you are unsure about any person with whom you are interacting, the Hospital encourages you to ask for identification.
If you observe a suspicious activity or individual, have lost a personal items or have any security concerns, notify a Security guard at ext. 2385 or inform a staff member immediately.
When you come to the Hospital, please bring a list of all the medications you have been taking. Include those you buy without a prescription and all herbal medicines. If possible, you should bring all of your prescription medications and bottles to the Hospital.
Because some inhalers, eye drops and other medications are not readily available in the Hospital, you may be asked to use your own during your hospital stay. Once it is confirmed that all of your medications are available in the Hospital, your own medications can be taken home by a family member.
Only medications ordered by your doctor in the Hospital will be given to you during your stay. You should not take any medication without your doctor's knowledge or permission.
Should your doctor prescribe any new medications for you upon discharge from the Hospital or after your Emergency Department visit, prescriptions can be filled at your community pharmacy, at the kiosk in the Emergency Department, or Centric Health Pharmacy conveniently located next to the East main entrance of the Hospital.
Southlake welcomes your feedback on ways to improve the quality and safety of the care and service we provide.
There are many ways to share your feedback, including:
- Speaking with the manager of the unit or department that is providing your care
- Contact our Patient Relations Office at (905) 895-4521, ext. 2290 or via the website.
- Complete a Patient Satisfaction Survey (distributed to a random sample of patients either by mail or as a handout on discharge)