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Hand hygiene

While in hospital, you should clean your hands:

  • Before entering or leaving your room
  • Before eating or drinking
  • Before taking pills
  • After using the washroom
  • After sneezing or coughing

You have the right to ask members of your patient care team, or any other staff members, to clean their hands before touching you or anything around you.

There are two ways to clean your hands:

  • Rub an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, such as Purell, on your hands for at least 15 seconds
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 60 seconds

Coughing and sneezing

While in hospital, to keep germs from spreading and to protect others around you:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw it out right away, and clean your hands
  • Use your elbow to block your cough or sneeze

Fall risk reduction

A fall can happen to anyone in any place at any time. During your stay in the hospital, we will:

  • Ask questions about how you move around or if you have had a fall before
  • Show you around your room, bathroom and nursing unit
  • Keep your room and walkways clear and free of tripping hazards
  • Keep important things close to you so you can reach them, such as your call bell, walker, glasses, phone, and Patient and Family Care Guide
  • Check in on you every hour to make sure you are comfortable and have what you need

If your patient care team concludes that you are at risk for falls, they will add special safety measures to your care plan. To prevent falls:

  • Wear non-skid shoes that fit well
  • Take your time and use your mobility aid when moving around
  • Sit upright for a few moments on the edge of your bed before standing
  • If you feel weak, sleepy or dizzy, ask your nurse for help before you get up
  • Get up slowly and make sure you feel steady before walking
  • If your patient care team has told you that you need help getting up or to walk, always use the call bell and ask for help


We work hard with our patients to make sure that medications are used safely. Soon after you arrive at the hospital, we will complete a medical history with you. This will be kept on your chart so that members of your patient care team can see which medications you are taking if they want to write you a new prescription.

Questions to ask your patient care team about your medications:

  • Have any medications been added, stopped or changed? Why?
  • What medications do I need to keep taking? Why?
  • How do I take my medications, and for how long?
  • How will I know if my medication is working? What side effects do I watch for?
  • Do I need any tests? When do I book a follow-up visit?

Please ask our pharmacists about your medication. They are part of your patient care team.


As of January 2018, all hospitals in Ontario are smoke-free.

If you want to reduce your tobacco use or quit smoking, we can help! Please talk to your doctor for more information. Once you leave the hospital, you can use myQuit, a free program run by trained coaches.

Phone: 1-877-376-1707

Website: MyQuit

Scent free facility

The Ottawa Hospital is a scent free facility.

Latex free facility

The Ottawa Hospital is a latex free facility.

Last updated on: October 2nd, 2018