Patient Safety

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Patient Safety is Everyone's Responsiblity

Public Reporting of Patient Safety Indicators

Government passed a law called the Patient Safety Act in May 2012. The act requires hospitals to collect information called patient safety indicators and report the results to the Department of Health and Wellness and the public.

Making Things Better at South Shore Health

Bulletin boards have been posted at 3 sites, and eventually will be at all sites to celebrate the sucess of staff at South Shore Health for Making Things Better.  Through reporting of patient safety incidents we are able to make improvements and recognize the staff involved.  Alice Leverman, CEO of South Shore Health hears about these improvments and signs "Thank you" to the staff involved.  The improvement will be posted these Making Things Better boards for everyone to see.

"Making Things Better" bulletin board
at Fisherman's Memorial Hospital.

Click here to view current "Making Things Better" initiative at South Shore Health regarding patient bathroom call bells. 

South Shore Health wants you to have the best care possible. We have many safeguards in place to reduce the chances of anything going wrong while you are under our care.  To make those safeguards the best they can be we need your help by being an active, involved and informed member of your health care team. Your safety is a shared responsibility. People who are more involved with their care tend to do better and stay safer.

Ask questions and provide information.Link to Safety Tips for Nova Scotians- Being Involved in your Care

You might say...

  • I’m not sure I understand what you said...
  • I’m worried that...
  • Could you please explain that to me again?
  • Can I come back with my family to talk about this again?

Find out more about your condition or treatments.

You might ask...

  • Can you please tell me more about my condition?
  • Do you have any information that I can take with me?
  • Why do I need this test?
  • How will this treatment help me?
  • What are the risks of this treatment? test?
  • What is likely to happen if I don’t have this treatment?
  • What does the treatment involve? Will I be uncomfortable?
  • What do I need to do to prepare for the test?
  • When should I come back to see you?


  • Keep a list of all the medicines you are taking.
  • Let your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist know about all the medicines you are taking, and about any drug allergies you may have. Remember to include prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, herbal remedies, and vitamins.
  • Make sure you can read your doctor’s prescriptions. If you can’t read your doctor’s handwriting, your pharmacist might not be able to either.
  • Read the label on your prescription when you pick it up from the pharmacy. If you don’t recognize it by the colour or size, make sure it is what your doctor ordered for you.
  • When you get your medicine, read the label, including the warnings. If the label is too difficult to read, let your pharmacist know.
  • Make sure that if you are seeing more than one doctor, each is aware of your visits to the other.
  • Try to deal with the same pharmacy so that it can keep track of all prescriptions.

You might ask...

  • Do you have any written information about this medicine?
  • What do the directions on the label mean?
  • How much should I take, when should I take it and for how long?
  • Are there any common side effects?
  • What should I look out for?
  • How long before it starts to work?
  • Is it harmful to take this medicine with another medicine?
  • Are there any food or other things I should avoid while I’m on this medicine?
  • Does this medicine replace any other ones that I am taking?

Tips for people who are in hospital, who are thinking about going to hospital, or who are going to have a medical procedure.

  • Don’t hesitate to tell the person providing your care if you think he or she has confused you with another patient ... wear your hospital bracelet at all times when in hospital.
  • Remember to tell the surgeon, anaesthetist, and nurses if you have allergies or have ever had a bad reaction to an anaesthetic or any other drug.
  • Make sure you, your doctor, and your surgeon all agree on exactly what will be done during the operation.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell the nurse or the doctor if you think you are about to receive the wrong medicine.
  • Before you leave hospital, ask your doctor or other health care professionals to explain the treatment plan you will use at home and what you can expect. Make sure you understand what is normal and what is not normal; for instance, the amount of bleeding or drainage that is to be expected.
  • Make sure you are clear about what you need to do at home including the medicines you need and information about a follow-up visit. Make sure you have a phone number in case you have any questions or run into difficulties.

You might ask...

  • How quickly do I need to have this treatment?
  • Is there an option to have the surgery/procedure done as a day patient?
  • How will having this surgery/procedure help me?
  • What will happen if I don’t have the surgery/procedure?
  • Are there other ways that this condition could be treated or managed?
  • Who will be doing the surgery/procedure?
  • What will it involve and how long will it take?
  • How can I expect to feel during recovery?
  • What will happen after the surgery/procedure?

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