Effective July 16, patients admitted to RVH will be allowed one visitor, seven days a week, for one hour, during specific pre-booked times. Click here for COVID-19 Information.

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.

Click here to review RVH’s Patient Safety Plan

Patient Privacy

At RVH, we recognize that the health information of our patients deserves to be treated with respect and sensitivity and our patients’ privacy must be protected. Access to your personal health information is available to those who need to know to provide care, including: physicians, nurses, technicians, therapists and other health professionals. When it comes to collecting and using your personal health information, RVH takes measures to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the information is protected.

Contact Us

For more information about privacy at RVH contact us:

Phone: 705-728-9090 Ext. 42537
Email: privacy@rvh.on.ca

RVH’s Privacy Office

RVH’s Privacy Office is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information under the custody or control of RVH in accordance with Ontario’s Health Information Protection Act, public expectations for privacy and internationally accepted fair information principles. The Health Information Protection Act, comprised of both the Personal Health Information Protection Act and the Quality of Care Information Protection Act, came into effect November 1, 2004.

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.

• To treat and care for you
• Maintain a record of your care
• Obtain payment for your treatment (i.e. OHIP, WSIB)
• Conduct risk management activities (i.e. patient safety audits)
• Improve the quality of hospital services (i.e. post care surveys)
• To support RVH’s research and educational programs
• Comply with legal and regulatory requirements

• Your next of kin or a legal representative of your choosing
​• Other healthcare providers involved in your circle of care (i.e. family physician)
​• Health regulatory agencies (i.e. Ministry of Health)
​• Public authorities (i.e. the local health unit)

​• Visitors or callers so they can locate you in the hospital. If you do not want RVH to tell visitors or callers that you are in the hospital, let us know when you are registered and share this with your health care team.
​• Connect you with a religious or spiritual advisor from the community who may visit you in the hospital. If you do not want this service, please tell us when you are registered.
​• Share your information with the RVH Foundation. If you do not want to be contacted for fundraising after you leave the hospital, please let us know when you are registered or you may also call 705-739-5600.
For more information, please contact the RVH Privacy Office at 705-728-9090 ext. 42537 or privacy@rvh.on.ca

Frequently Asked Questions for Patients

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.
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’s 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’s 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. Telephone (705) 739-5600 if you do not wish to be contacted.

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 to obtain or view your RVH patient record. Please allow a reasonable amount of time for RVH to locate your 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. You may access your own personal information however you may not access third party information, information about individuals other than yourself that may be in your patient 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.

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 patient groups’ 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.

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

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

Click here to view the Patient Declaration of Values for Ontario

Freedom of Information

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.

Before making a request we strongly encourage all potential requesters to first review the hospital’s Directory of Records and/or Directory of Personal Information Banks.

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre maintains a Directory of Records listing the general classes or types of records in its custody. Download Directory of Records 2012.pdf ​


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. Download Index of Personal Information Banks2012.pdf

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. Download and complete the FIPPA Request Form 2020

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 2020

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:

Privacy Coordinator
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
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.

Contact the RVH Privacy Coordinator by telephone at 705-728-9090 Ext. 42537 or email privacy@rvh.on.ca

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 Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner at:

2 Bloor St, East (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