Safety and Policies

Paramedics by the ambulance at loading entrance

At HGMH, the safety of our patients, staff, and visitors is of the highest importance. It is our aim that everyone accessing care at our hospital receives an exceptional patient experience delivered by staff/physicians who consistently demonstrate our values of integrity, respect, quality & safety, compassion, and working together. Read more in our Patient Safety Plan.

In order to ensure everyone's safety and health, we have several policies in place.

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 Handbook
  • 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

Fragrance free facility

Many elements in the environment can trigger or influence health and disease.

In consideration of others who may suffer from chemical sensitivities and/or allergies, we request that you refrain from wearing scents such as perfumes, colognes, hairspray or aftershave when at Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital.

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

It's OK 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

Infection prevention and control

At Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital we believe it is the responsibility of each and every individual at the hospital to practice good infection prevention and control, the basis of which continues to be hand hygiene.

Since you are part of your healthcare team, do not be afraid to remind doctors, hospital staff to clean their hands. This includes washing their hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub before working with you. This goes for family and visitors, too.

  • Wash your own hands often and well.
  • Towelettes are provided with meal trays - please use them.
  • Practice good hygiene.

When you sneeze or cough, germs can travel 6 feet (2 meters) or more! Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cough into your sleeve. Remember to wash your hands after wards. This will help to prevent the spread of infection to others.

Do not bring too many belongings into hospital. If your bed area becomes too cluttered, it is difficult for the housekeeping staff to clean. We request that patients limit the number of personal belongings they bring with them to the hospital, such as magazines, flowers, pictures, and clothes. Please ensure that only the necessary personal belongings are brought to the hospital.

Ask your doctor about your special vaccinations needs.

Some patients are on “isolation precautions”. This is usually done to protect the patient and others from infectious diseases. If you are in “isolation,” understand what your isolation means and what you should expect from the hospital staff or visitors. Gloves, gowns and masks are sometimes appropriate, depending on the illness.


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.

Smoking and vaping

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

Smoking cessation therapy is available for inpatients who want to reduce their tobacco use or quit smoking.

Non-violent hospital

HGMH ranks respect as one of its workplace values. Violence in any form, either directed at yourself or others, physically or verbally does not support the hospital's values. It is expected that you will respect the rights of others.

If there is an injury to anyone or damage to property, this will be reported to the authorities..


Thank you for visiting the website of the Glengarry Memorial Hospital (the "Hospital"). The content of the Hospital's website, including all text, graphics, images and links (the "Content"), is posted strictly for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of anything you reviewed in the Content.

Certain links contained in the Content lead to resources located on servers maintained by third parties over whom the Hospital has no control. As such, the Hospital makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy or any other aspect of the information contained on such servers. The Hospital does not recommend or endorse the content of any third party web sites, nor does it endorse any specific physicians, tests, services, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be referenced in the Content or on third party websites.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

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© 2018 Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital, 20260 County Road 43 Alexandria, Ontario K0C 1A0

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