Mask requirements return to RVH ahead of fall virus season

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Patient Safety

If you need assistance, please use the call bell beside your bed.  A staff member will answer your call as soon as possible.

RVH has a state-of-the-art fire system that provides the exact location for any smoke or fire situation within the facility. We have designated first responders who attend all fire situations to lead the emergency incident and ensure the safety of all. When you hear the fire alarm, it will always be followed by an announcement of a “Code Red” and the fire’s location. In the event of a Code Red, the doors of patient rooms will be closed to create a fire separation and the lights will be turned on. Further instruction will be provided if an area or the building needs to be evacuated.

When you are admitted to RVH, your care team will assess your risk of falling and determine what steps can be taken to prevent a fall while you are a patient. Falls can be caused by a variety of factors including walking or balance problems, some diseases (arthritis, osteoporosis), mental changes such as confusion or dementia, dizziness, change in position, medications and general weakness.

Here are some helpful tips to prevent falls:

  • Always have your call bell within reach in case you need it
  • Ask for a light to be left on at night
  • Ask for assistance when getting out of bed – most falls occur when patients try to leave their bed on their own
  •  Wipe up spills right away or ask for help if you are unable
  • Ask for the brakes to be activated for any furniture that has wheels
  • Don’t lean on the bedside tables as they are on wheels and will slide
  • Arrange furniture so walking pathways are clear
  • Make sure shoes fit properly and are non-slip
  • Use a walker or cane (and have it checked for safety if you have concerns)
  • Keep your room free of clutter
  • Slow down and take your time when moving about your room
  • Change positions slowly and take your time getting up
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about side effects from medications
  • Keep your eyeglasses within reach and wear them when possible
  • Wear your hearing aids
  • Get up and move everyday

Cleaning your hands is the simplest and most effective way to reduce the risk of getting an infection or passing germs to others. At RVH, we audit the hand hygiene compliance of our staff and physicians and post the information at entrances of the health centre, in common areas and on units/departments.

It is important that all members of your care team wash their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub. We encourage you to ask members of your care team, ‘have you washed your hands?’

RVH has Infection Prevention & Control practitioners that work closely with your care providers to ensure your care is as safe as possible. 

When you register as a patient, you will be asked if you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, vomiting or diarrhea. You will also be asked if you have ever had or come in contact with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL). This helps RVH make sure we place patients in the appropriate rooms and that we take precautions to decrease the risk of spreading infections throughout the health centre. 

In the event that you are experiencing symptoms, you may be placed on “precautions” (usually indicated by a sign posted on the patient room door indicating the precautions that should be taken when visiting this patient). This means that your care team, family and friends must wear personal protective equipment (i.e. gloves, gown, mask, visor) when in your room. Precautions help protect you and others from passing on infections.

Infection Protection and Control practitioners are available to speak with you and your family if you have questions about infection control or being on precautions. They can also provide you with resources and more information. We invite you to also watch the brief information video on your bedside entertainment system free of charge. 

Security operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure a healthy, safe environment for all patients, staff and visitors. Patient and visitors are encouraged to report any suspicious persons/vehicles, acts of theft, damage or unwanted behaviours to Security by dialing ‘0’.

All RVH staff, physicians, volunteers, and students wear an identification badge that provides you with their first name, position and photo identification. Please feel free to question any person providing care that is not displaying their photo identification badge on their left chest/shoulder.

RVH has zero tolerance for workplace violence, bullying or harassment and is committed to a workplace where the dignity and self-esteem of all persons – patients, visitors, staff, physicians and volunteers – is respected.

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

At RVH, patients are at the centre of everything we do. Your rights and responsibilities are foundational to the caring partnership you share with your RVH healthcare team.

• Receive safe, high quality patient care
• Be treated in a considerate, respectful manner regardless of race, culture, religion, sex, age, mental or
physical ability, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, diagnosis, or legal status
• Receive complete and clear information about diagnosis, treatment and prognosis
• Express concern about the care or treatment received
• Maintain independence and make decisions about your care, unless you are unable, in which case
information will be given to a guardian, attorney or substitute decision-maker
• As a capable patient, refuse treatment and be informed of the potential health risks of your decision
• Know the names and roles of your health care team
• Be informed of opportunities to participate in research
• Have your privacy protected and your personal information and health records kept confidential
• Have access to your health record
• Be informed of any financial obligations that will be incurred as a result of your care
• Ask members of your care team if they have washed their hands

• Behave in a respectful way toward your healthcare team
• Treat others in a considerate, respectful manner regardless of race, culture, religion, sex, age, mental
or physical ability, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, diagnosis, or legal status
• Contribute actively to your healthcare and healthcare decisions to the extent you are able
• Participate in your treatment and rehabilitation at the level you choose
• Make informed choices about your participation in research and communicate your preferences to the
healthcare team
• Respect that your healthcare team must prioritize their activities in order of urgency
• Contribute to the quality of your care by providing an accurate health history, information about current
prescriptions, treatments, and follow provider recommendations
• Bring your medication (in the original containers) and/or an accurate list of medications with you to
RVH (including over-the-counter medicines, herbal remedies, supplements, vitamins, and diet pills)
• Respect other patients and their privacy and confidentiality
• Keep appointments or notify RVH when you are unable to keep your appointment
• Ensuring all expenses not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) or private insurance
are paid for
• Comply and ask others to comply with RVH infection control and safety policies

Click here to view the Patient Declaration of Values for Ontario

Privacy and Information

RVH recognizes that the information of our patients deserves to be treated with respect and sensitivity. We are committed to protecting the privacy of information under our custody and control and in accordance with Ontario’s privacy and health-privacy legislations; the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

The Regional Privacy Office is responsible for ensuring a culture of privacy at RVH, and supports all staff, physicians, patients and families in ensuring the safety and security of information.

When you receive care at RVH, we collect personal health information (PHI) and personal information (PI) about you in order to provide you with healthcare or assist in the provision of healthcare.

Information that we collect may include your name, date of birth, address, health history, records of your visit and the care that you received.

We may collect this information directly from you or someone with the legal authority to consent for you. We will only collect as much information as is necessary to meet the purpose of the collection.

In accordance with PHIPA, we use this information to:

  • Treat and care for you
  • Maintain a record of your care
  • Obtain payment for your treatment (i.e. OHIP, WSIB)
  • Plan, administer and manage our internal operations
  • Conduct risk management and quality improvement activities (i.e. patient safety audits)
  • Improve the quality of hospital services (i.e. post care surveys)
  • Compile statistics
  • To support research and educational programs
  • For fundraising purposes (your name and address only)
  • To coordinate your care with your other health care providers including through shared electronic health information systems
  • Comply with legal and regulatory requirements
  • To fulfill other purposes as permitted or required by law.

RVH may also disclose your information to the following:

  • External electronic health record systems including, but not limited to: Client Information Management System (CIMS), Integrated Services for Children’s Information System (ISCIS), Integrated Assessment Record (IAR), and Electronic Children’s Health Network (eCHN).
  • Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long Term Care e-health projects including, but not limited to: the Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI), Wait Time Information System (WTIS), Drug Profile Viewer, Ontario Renal Reporting System (ORRS), Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS) and Connecting Ontario.
  • Approved provincial agencies such as: Cancer Care Ontario, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, BORN, and Trillium Gift of Life.
  • Researchers if the research has been approved by our Research Ethics Board
  • The Medical Officer of Health to report communicable diseases
  • The Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
  • Law enforcement officers who present a warrant or subpoena, or to aid in an investigation
  • The Children’s Aid Society
  • The Public Guardian and Trustee
  • The Coroner’s Office

Where your consent is required for any collection, use or disclosure of your personal health information, you may withdraw or withhold your consent for some of the ways we use or disclose your personal health information by contacting us (subject to exceptions such as where disclosures are required by law).

Unless you tell us differently, we may:

  • Advise visitors and callers that you are a patient at RVH and which unit you are on.
  • Disclose your personal health information to external health care providers who need it to provide you with care or to help provide you with care.
  • Share your information with provincial electronic databases.
  • Give your name, your location within the hospital, and your religious affiliation to spiritual care representatives, but only if you tell us your religious affiliation.
  • Share your information for Quality Improvement such as patient satisfaction surveys (i.e. NRC Health). · Disclose your contact information (name and address only) to our Foundation so that they may conduct fundraising to improve our health care facilities, services and programs.

Regional Privacy Office

For more information about privacy at RVH, please contact the Regional Privacy Office.

Address: Regional Privacy Office: 201 Georgian Drive Barrie, ON L4M 6M2
Tel: 705.792.3318 or 705.728.9090 ext. 42537
Fax: 705.797.3110

You have the right to make a complaint to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario if you think we have violated your privacy rights. The Commissioner can be reached as follows:

Address: Information and Privacy Commissioner / Ontario 2 Bloor St. East, Suite 1400 Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
Tel: 416-326-3333 or toll free at 1-800-387-0073

Collecting Your Personal Health Information

When you receive care at RVH, we collect personal information about you. Information that we collect may include your name, date of birth, address, health history, records of your visit and the care that you received.

We will collect your information directly from you or someone with the legal authority to consent for you. We will only collect as much information as is necessary to meet the purpose of the collection.

Frequently Asked Questions for Patients

The individual right to retain control over the collection, use and disclosure of their personal health information.




Examples of potential uses include:

· To identify your record quickly and accurately each time you visit the hospital.

· To provide the most appropriate treatment. Your visit to the hospital may include a number of assessments and treatments. All of this information is recorded in your chart and made available to those involved in your care. RVH keeps a history of your health information for your future care.

· To comply with legal and regulatory requirements. For example, we collect your health information because it is required to fund health care services.

· To improve the quality and efficiency with which we provide health care services.

· To support RVH research programs. Researchers working on approved studies can have access to health information, provided that consent and privacy issues have been addressed.

· To support RVH educational activities. Health information is available for teaching purposes with measures taken to protect privacy and confidentiality.

· To share your contact information with the RVH Foundation. Our Foundation works to support excellence in healthcare by raising funds for medical research, medical education and the improvement of patient care.

The Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) is Ontario’s health-specific privacy legislation. PHIPA will govern the manner in which personal health information may be collected, used and disclosed within the health care system. It will also regulate individuals and organizations that receive personal health information from health care professionals.

Personal health information is “identifying information” collected about an individual. It is information about an individual’s health or health care history in relation to:

  • The providing of health care to the individual, including the identification of a person as a provider of health care to the individual;
  • A plan of service within the meaning of the Long-Term Care Act, 1994 for the individual;
  • Payments or eligibility for health care in respect of the individual;
  • The donation by the individual of any body part or bodily substance of the individual or is derived from the testing or examination of any such body part or bodily substance;
  • Individual’s health number, or
  • An individual’s substitute decision-maker


Any data that has been collected in which all personal identifiers have been removed (making determination of identity impossible) is not considered personal health information, nor is the name, title, business address or business telephone number of an employee of an organization.

RVH uses your information for the delivery of direct patient care, administration of the health care system, research, teaching, statistics, fundraising, and to meet legal and regulatory requirements.

RVH is required to disclose patient information to several other organizations. This includes the Ministry of Health, The Canadian Institute for Health Information, Public Health and Cancer Care Ontario. Information may also be disclosed to other physicians directly involved in your care. RVH places appropriate safeguards on the transmission of all information disclosed to other organizations and seeks to ensure that health information protection measures are in place and in accordance with the Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).

RVH does not sell patient information.

RVH requires patient consent, or a court order to disclose health information to any organization or person not directly involved with the provision of patient care. RVH will ensure that proper controls are in place to only disclose what is required.

You have a right to access your personal health information, and RVH has an obligation to make it available to you, with limited exceptions. Exceptions are made if releasing your information would put yourself or a third party at risk, in which RVH may choose not to disclose some, or all of that information.

When you are a patient at RVH, you should ask your healthcare provider for information that you want to know. If your request is voluminous or substantial, or not covered by the information available to the attending healthcare provider, you will need to contact Release of Information in the Health Records Department to obtain or view your RVH patient record.

Release of Information will ask you complete a Request Access Form, present the proper identification and prepay an access fee in order for you to access your chart. Click here for more information on requesting access to health records and associated fees.

Although you have the right to access your records, this right does not automatically extend to family members and/or friends. If you consent to let a friend or family member see your records, then the friend/family member may access the part(s) that you have consented to let them see. Your consent will be documented in your record by your healthcare providers.

Only RVH staff involved in your care may access your patient record. All RVH staff are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement, which is signed as a condition of employment. This agreement seeks to ensure staff only access information on a need to know basis.

If required, RVH will release information to your family physician to support your care

No, health information is not publicly available on the Internet. RVH may use the Internet to transfer unidentifiable health information securely through the e-mail system. These systems are secured by a combination of authentication and encryption.

Yes, RVH does use closed circuit video surveillance (CCTV) for safety and security reasons. Signage is posted across the organization indicating where video surveillance is in place.

Requests for access to video surveillance can be directed to the Regional Privacy Office.

There are three components to protecting patient information at RVH:

Administrative Safeguards: The RVH Privacy Policies govern the manner in which all RVH care providers and other employees manage patient information. Furthermore, all RVH employees must sign a confidentiality agreement as a condition of employment.

Physical Safeguards: RVH has a number of physical safeguards which range from locked doors to staff wearing photo identification to identify themselves as RVH employees.

Technical Safeguards: RVH’s technical department upgrades the security capabilities of the patient information system on an ongoing basis. We have implemented role based access controls to ensure staff only may access information on a need to know basis. The RVH patient information system also uses passwords to protect the system from inappropriate accesses from within and a firewall to protect our system from users on the Internet.

When you call RVH, staff have no way to verify that you are who you say you are. Therefore, in order to protect patient privacy, only a minimal amount of information is given out over the phone.

In general, patient records are kept for 10 years past the date of last admission. For the purpose of research, some medical records are kept for longer. A core record of your care at RVH is maintained in the Health Records Department. Many departments within RVH, including Imaging Services, Mental Health Support Services and some of the clinics you may visit also maintain an additional record of your personal health information.

Breach of privacy, confidentiality or security refers to the unauthorized access, collection, use, or disclosure of any personal health information or personal health information.

A “Lockbox” is commonly used to refer to a patient’s ability to withdraw or withhold consent for the use or disclosure of their Personal Health Information (PHI) for health care purposes.

The Hospital recognizes that the withdrawing or withholding of consent can take on various forms including:

  • Not to collect, use or disclosure a particular item of information contained in the patient’s medical record (i.e. a particular diagnosis)
  • Not to collect, use or disclose the contents of the patient’s entire medical record
  • Not to disclose the patient’s PHI to a particular Health Information Custodian (HIC) or Agent(s) (i.e. physicians, nurses or social workers)
  • Not to enable a particular HIC or Agent(s) to use the patient’s PHI

The Hospital has the ability to electronically lock your Personal Health Information in the Electronic Medical Record (EMR); MEDITECH Expanse System and other internal electronic systems as applicable.

The Hospital can also apply a lockbox to paper records by securing the records in the Health Records Department.

There are risks with locking your information, as well as exceptions. Click here to learn more about locking your records

An individual who believes that their information is incomplete or inaccurate may make a request to correct their record. It is the responsibility of the custodian to ensure that information is complete and accurate.


An individual seeking to correct their information can submit a written request to the Regional Privacy Office. The Hospital must respond within 30 days of receiving a correction request.

Click here to complete the request for corrections form.

The Hospital is obligated to correct information where an individual demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the hospital, that the record is in fact inaccurate or incomplete and the individual gives the Hospital the necessary information to correct the record.

However, the Hospital may refuse to correct personal health information that is a professional opinion or an observation of the health care provider.

An individual who feels their privacy rights under PHIPA have been violated has the right to submit a written complaint to the Regional Privacy Office. All privacy complaints will be treated in a confidential manner.

An individual may also submit a written complaint to the Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Information and Privacy Commissioner / Ontario 2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400 Toronto, Ontario Canada M4W 1A8

1-416-326-3333 or toll-free 1-800-387-0073

You can find out more information by contacting the Regional Privacy Office at:

Regional Privacy Office 201 Georgian Drive Barrie, ON L4M 6M2


Tel: 705.792.3318 or 705.728.9090 ext. 42537

Fax: 705.797.3110

Visitor Responsibilities

• Respecting patients’ right to privacy
• Observing RVH property, rules and regulations
• Being considerate of the rights of patients, as well as staff, physicians and volunteers by treating them
courteously and with respect
• Not visiting RVH if they are not feeling well, or if they have an illness which could spread to our
patients (if visitors are unsure, they should check with a healthcare provider)
• Not smoking on RVH property – it is a smoke-free environment

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FIPPA)

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) is a provincial legislation that applies to most public institutions in Ontario, including hospitals. The Act has two main purposes:

  • To make public bodies more open and accountable by providing the public with the right of access to records; and
  • To protect personal information from unauthorized collection, use or disclosure by public bodies.

RVH is committed to conducting its business in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. It is the practice of RVH, in keeping with the spirit of FIPPA, to make its operational records publicly available wherever possible.

Directory of Records

RVH maintains a Directory of Records listing the general classes or types of records in its custody.

Directory of Personal Information Banks

The hospital also maintains a Directory of Personal Information Banks. If you are seeking access to your own personal information maintained by the hospital, please refer to this index before submitting your request.

Making a Request

A formal request for records can be made under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This request must be made in writing and must include a $5 application fee.

  1. Check the Directory of Records or Directory of Personal Information Banks to make sure RVH maintains the information you require.
  2. Download and complete the FIPPA Request Form
    You must clearly identify the records you are seeking. Please ensure that you provide enough detail to enable RVH to identify the records. The more specific your request, the more efficiently and accurately it can be answered. Be sure to include your contact information.
  3.  Prepare a cheque or money order for $5 payable to “Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre” and attach it to your request.
  4. Submit your request, together with the non-refundable $5 application fee, to:
  5. Regional Privacy Office 201 Georgian Drive Barrie ON L4M 6M2

RVH will contact you to acknowledge receipt of your records request. RVH will make every reasonable effort to respond to a request no later than 30 calendar days after receiving it. There are some specific exceptions that warrant an extended period of time for RVH to respond.


RVH will contact you to acknowledge receipt of your records request. RVH will make every reasonable effort to respond to a request no later than 30 calendar days after receiving it. There are some specific exceptions that warrant an extended period of time for RVH to respond.

Contact the Regional Privacy Office by telephone at 705-728-9090 extension 42537 or email

Under Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, you may appeal any decision regarding access to the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner within 30 days from the date of receipt of the letter denying your request.

Appeals are to be submitted in writing to the Information and Privacy Commissioner / Ontario. Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner 2 Bloor St. E, Suite 1400 Toronto, ON M4W 1A8 Tel. 416-326-3333 or Toll Free. 1-800-387-0073 Fax 416-325-9195 or 515-832-9400