The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) is committed to patient safety. Creating an environment of patient safety that exceeds our patients’ highest expectations is one of our key strategic directions and something we take seriously.

Everyone at TSH – including patients, families, visitors, staff, physicians and volunteers – plays an important role in safety.

Keeping you Safe

Here at TSH we have certain policies and procedures that were put in place to support your health and safety. We appreciate your cooperation in following these policies to ensure the hospital is a safe environment for everyone.

Balloons/Latex Products

  • Latex products are not allowed in the hospital to protect our patients who may have a latex sensitivity or allergy.
  • If you have a latex sensitivity or allergy, please inform a health care professional while you are being admitted.
  • If you are a visitor buying a gift for a loved one, foil or mylar balloons are acceptable and available in the hospital gift shops.

Cell phones

  • The use of cell phones and walkie-talkies in the hospital is permitted only in areas marked by appropriate signage
  • In areas where use of cell phones and walkie-talkies is not permitted, these devices must be completely turned off. Even in stand-by mode, they can interfere with the operation of critical medical equipment used for patient care.
  • Portable phones carried by hospital staff operate on a lower frequency and do not affect the operation of medical equipment.

Fire Safety

  • Fire exits are clearly marked throughout the building.
  • During a fire alarm, all elevators will return to the Main Floor and will be out of order.
  • During a fire alarm, all fire doors will automatically close until there is an ’all clear’ announcement on the speaker system.
  • Patients should stay in their room during a fire alarm. Do not move to another place unless a member of the fire department or hospital staff asks you to move.
  • 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, please stay where you are until the ’all clear’ signal is given. A staff member will inform you should any further action become necessary.


  • TSH is committed to the promotion of good health.
  • Smoking is not allowed anywhere on hospital property, inside or out.
  • Patients and visitors wishing to smoke must leave hospital property to do so.
  • Public Health Bylaw Officers regularly patrol within nine metres of the hospital entrances, and you may be fined if caught smoking on hospital property.

Participating in Your Health Care

As a patient, it is important to understand the health care you receive, and you should feel comfortable asking questions about anything you do not understand. So, we invite you to join us in making your care as safe as possible.

You can help by being an active, involved and informed member of your health care team.

Get support from a friend of family member

  • Bring a loved one with you who knows your medical history and may help you understand the information you receive.
  • Ask your loved one to listen and ask questions.
  • Make sure your loved one knows your wishes, treatment decisions and plans after you are discharged.

Be involved in your health care by understanding your role in treatment, and ask questions if you have concerns about your care

  • TSH provides free interpretation services. Ask for an interpreter if:
    • You are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing
    • English is not your first language
  • Ask the health care team about your health problem and treatment plan.
  • Ask what your role is in your treatment and what you need to do.
  • Ask why it is important for you to have this treatment and what it will involve.
  • Ask if there are side effects or alternative treatment options.
  • Write down any questions you may have and ask the staff to explain in ‘plain language’ so you will be able to understand. Do not be embarrassed.

Talk about your health with your health care team

  • Talk about how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally.
  • Talk about your past illnesses, family medical history and recent hospital and doctor visits.
  • Talk about current medication(s), allergies or herbal supplements you are taking.
  • Talk about any addictions or mental illnesses you may have.

Know about your care

  • You and your doctor should agree on your treatment plan.
  • Know what tests, treatment or medications are planned for you and what they are for.
  • Know how you should expect to feel after a treatment or procedure.

Learn what you can do if you have concerns regarding your care

  • Speak to your nurse, doctor or other health care provider directly about your questions or concerns.
  • If you require further assistance, the Patient Care Manager or Director of the unit can help to resolve your questions or concerns.
  • If you continue to have concerns, please contact Patient Relations.

Check for identification (ID) badges

  • Look for ID badges – all hospital staff, physicians and volunteers must wear one.
  • Do not let anyone care for you who is not wearing a badge.
  • Ask the names of your health care team members.

Make sure you are the right patient

  • Always wear your hospital bracelet.
  • Make sure your bracelet is correct.
  • Make sure that staff check your bracelet before taking you out of your room or administering medicine, treatments or tests.
  • Staff must use two methods to identify you every time. If staff fail to do so, please remind them to check.

Protect yourself from getting an infection while you are in the hospital

  • Clean your hands often using hand sanitizer or soap and water, after going to the washroom and before eating.
  • Encourage your loved ones to clean their hands when they visit you.
  • Remind health care providers to clean their hands before and after caring for you.
  • Ask loved ones to not to visit when they are sick.
  • If you experience fever, cough or diarrhea, tell your health care provider.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve so germs don’t spread.
  • Make sure your immunizations are current and get your annual flu shot.

Know about your medications

  • Put all your medications in a bag and bring them with you. Always keep your medicine in the original package.
  • Provide your health care team with all the medications you are taking including herbal supplements, vitamins, creams, eye drops, injectable medications and non-prescription medicine such as Tylenol or Aspirin.
  • If you can’t bring your medications, your doctor or pharmacist can also give you a list of to bring with you. Keep this list updated.
  • Ask about the reason for all the medications given to you during your stay.

Protect yourself from falling

  • Make sure you know how to use your call button, that it is in reach at all times, and that it works.
  • Tell your health care team if you are scared of falling.
  • Wear comfortable and well-fitting shoes or non-slip socks.
  • If you have trouble seeing or hearing, wear your glasses and/or hearing aids at all times when you are awake.
  • Tell us if you need help with your cane, walker or wheelchair.
  • Tell your health care team if you are dizzy, unsteady or feeling weak.
  • Tell hospital staff if you see a spill that needs to be cleaned up.
  • Be sure everything you need in within your reach (eye glasses, call button).

Plan for going home

  • Make sure you understand what treatment you received at the hospital.
  • Know what kind of transportation you will need to get home.
  • Learn what kind of care you will need when you go home.
  • Learn what follow-up appointments you will need and who will make them.
  • Know what medicine you must take, how much to take, when to take it, and any side effects it may cause.
  • Be aware of what symptoms to watch for and who to call if you do not feel well.

Learn more about your health and how you can access community services and supports through our Global Community Resource Centre.