Safety at the Hospital and at Home

Fall Prevention Program

At UVA, the safety of our patients is very important to us. We strive for positive experiences and outcomes, and this includes partnering with patients to reduce their risk of falling.

Patients feeling weak, taking certain medications and adjusting to a new place can be more likely to experience a fall. For this reason, we use a bright yellow wristband and sign to alert caregivers of special patient safety needs.

Getting up and moving around are important to your health. Together with your family and care partners, we can help you move around safely.

To prevent falls:

  • Ask your caregivers about our fall prevention program.
  • Let your nurse or doctor know if you have fallen recently or if you use a cane or a walker at home.
  • Follow our instructions for getting into and out of bed or a chair, walking around and using the bathroom.
  • Keep frequently used items within easy reach. If you cannot reach something, press the call button and a caregiver will be in to help you.
  • Sit up for a minute before standing or getting out of bed.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse for help if you feel weak or dizzy. Use a cane or walker if you need them. 

Preventing Infections

Infection prevention is very important. We use gloves, gowns, masks and/or eye protection based on your condition. Patients, visitors and staff must follow any instructions posted at your door.

Your visitors can help prevent infections by:

  • Coming to the hospital only if they feel well
  • Washing or cleaning their hands; hand cleaner/alcohol gel can be found outside the patient rooms
  • Using public restrooms, not bathrooms in patient rooms 

Handwashing prevents infections. If you cannot get out of bed to wash your hands, ask your nurse for hand cleaner. To make your hand cleaning truly effective, read these handwashing hints (PDF). Be sure all who have direct contact with you wash their hands.

Ensuring Your Safe Care

There are many things you can do to be an informed, active participant in your healthcare and increase your healthcare safety.

Basic Safety Rules

  • Don't remove the side rails on your bed
  • Use the call button if you need help
  • If you are leaving your room, let your nurse know
  • Wear shoes or safety skid slippers

Staying Involved in Your Healthcare

Ask Questions

You are the center of your healthcare team. No question is insignificant. Ask about anything and everything you don’t understand. Write down your questions and practice asking them. Ask a family member or friend to be present when talking with your physician or others to help recall what was said, to take notes, or to ask questions.

Educate Yourself

Learn as much as possible about your illness and treatment options.

Tell Us How You Feel

Pay attention to and report your symptoms – pain, nausea, drowsiness, etc. – or if something just doesn’t “feel right."

Stay Involved

Be sure healthcare providers look at your ID bracelet and correctly identify you. Ask healthcare providers to identify themselves and explain what they are doing. Pay attention to the care you are receiving and make sure you are getting the right treatments and medications by the right healthcare providers. Always ask what the treatment or medicine is for and how it might help you. Speak up if you have questions or concerns.


Find out about the reasons behind and procedures for using restraints (PDF).

Find a Friend

Your family and friends play a significant role in your health and well being. If you’re sick, you need someone who can look out for your best interests and help navigate the healthcare system.

Our recommendation: Pick one person to be your spokesperson or Care Partner. This person can:

  • Help us understand your specific needs and preferences
  • Ensure your care needs are met after hospitalization
  • Help you understand your options, treatments and plan of care

Learn more about having a Care Partner.

Our Role in Your Safety

UVA employees keep patients safe by following:

Our Volunteer Services office can provide more information or help you get one of these devices. Call 434.924.5251.

Stay Safe at Home

Find information on preventing falls and other home safety tips: Home Safety Checklist (PDF)

Home Health Services

Our home health agency provides in-home care to people of all ages with disabilities, chronically or terminally ill, or recovering from an illness. Find out more about Continuum Home Health’s services.

Personal Emergency Response Devices

Elderly people or those with disabilities and live alone may feel more secure with a Medi-Mate, an emergency response device that can be activated at the touch of a button. Monitored 24 hours a day, a Medi-Mate can help subscribers maintain independence with security.

Our Volunteer Services office can provide more information or help you get one of these devices. Call 434.924.5251.