Patient Safety at the UVM Medical Center

The University of Vermont Medical Center is committed to providing patients with the safest, high-quality care possible. The University of Vermont Medical Center has repeatedly earned accolades in patient safety. We are continually focused on providing the safest possible care every day and during every patient encounter.

Following are some other things you should know to help us ensure that your stay is a safe one:

Minimizing Infection

Specific measures to prevent health care-associated infections are incorporated into each patient's care. Our staff follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and takes a number of important steps to prevent infections. These include:

  • All health care providers are required to wear gloves when they perform tasks such as drawing blood, or touching wounds or bodily fluids.
  • All health care providers are required to wash or sanitize their hands before and after seeing each patient.
  • Our surgical staff takes special measures to prevent spread of bacteria during surgery.

As a patient there are several things you can do to minimize your risk of infection:

  • Make sure family and friends clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after visiting you.
  • Remember to clean your hands frequently: before and after you leave a room, before you eat and after using the bathroom.

Reducing Medication Errors

As a part of our efforts to reduce the risk of medication errors, you will be asked to bring in a list of the medications you are currently taking.

One of the ways you can help reduce medication errors is to know the medications you are taking and be actively involved whenever medications are being administered to you. This helps to ensure that you are taking the proper medications while in the hospital and prevents duplication of medications.

Avoiding Falls

The UVM Medical Center takes great measure to protect our patients from falls. Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of a fall.

Always ask for help from your nurse if you need to get out of bed or use the bathroom – especially at night.

  • Keep your nurse call button near you.
  • Make sure there is enough light to see.
  • If you need eyeglasses to see, keep them near you.
  • Never climb over the bed rails.
  • Wear rubber-soled slippers to reduce the risk of slipping.

Other Safety Tips

  • Know how to use the nurse call button and emergency cords in all showers and bathrooms.
  • Your doctor or nurse should approve all food that comes from home or a restaurant.
  • No one but staff should touch medical equipment. Ask staff to explain what the equipment does and what the alarms mean. Call your nurse if an alarm sounds.

For more detailed information on patient safety, view Helpful Phone Numbers