Emergency: 911
Telecare: 811
Poison: 1-800-565-8161
5850/5980 University Ave., Halifax, NS B3K 6R8

In response to COVID-19 patient and visitor restrictions are in place. Entrances have been reduced and screening is in effect. Please visit our COVID-19 information page for up to date guidance and information.

Patient Safety

Patient safety is a priority at the IWK Health Centre.

Our goals are to ensure that everyone who receives care or service from us are kept safe and that we continue to work to prevent unnecessary harm or injury to all patients. Patients and families are invited to review the tips below and use them as a guide as you receive care and treatment. Making healthier choices together will benefit all of us. 

We encourage you and your family to become part of the patient safety team, by being fully informed and actively involved in your or your child’s care.

What does your involvement in patient safety mean to you and your family? For instance, it means:  

  • we need you to provide detailed information about your or your child’s condition.
  • that you should clearly understand your diagnosis and treatment plan and know what to expect.
  • keeping us informed of any changes in your or your child’s condition, good or bad, such as an allergic reaction to a drug.
  • we want you to speak up when you have a question about any aspect of your or your child’s care.

We hope you will read on.  

Here are a few other things to consider:

Don't be afraid to ask questions if you have doubts or concerns: Feel free to Speak up! We want you to understand your or your child’s treatment.

Involve your loved ones: Keep your loved ones informed about your plan of care.

Make sure you and all caregivers are clear about what medications you or your child should take: Be sure to tell your caregivers about all medications, including non-prescription medications, vitamins and herbal remedies. When you receive a prescription, make sure it is the right medication and the right dose

Infection: Don't pass it on! Cleaning our hands is both the easiest and the number one way to stop the transmission of infection. Hand sanitizer or soap and water are both acceptable ways to clean our hands. While in the health centre be sure to keep your own hands clean and don’t be afraid to remind friends, family and health care providers to clean their hands before coming into direct contact with you or your child. This will keep you and your family safe.

Having Surgery? Feel free to ask lots of questions. We have information that will help you to understand what will happen before surgery and how the doctors and nurses will take action to make sure that everything goes as planned.

Know what to do after you get home: Make sure you understand what is expected when at home and that you know who to call if you have further questions once you get home.


Keeping You Safe

Please click here to open a patient safety checklist containing tips to help keep you and your family safe during your visit.

A reminder that due to allergies and to help ensure the safety of very young children, latex (rubber) balloons are not permitted at the IWK. Only foil/Mylar balloons are permitted.

If you have a patient safety question or concern at any time, please don’t hesitate to talk to a member of your care team.


Patient Safety Videos

For more information about how you can help keep you or your child as safe as possible while you are receiving care and treatment from us, click on the following patient safety links to watch a short video.

About your hospital visit:


About your child's hospital visit:



Partners in Care

IWk patients and families are partners in their care. The document Partners in Care: Our Shared Rights and Responsibilities, explains the rights of patients and families as well as staff and describes shared responsibilities as partners in their health care.

This document is available in EnglishFrench and Simplified Chinese.

Everyone (patients, families, staff, physicians, learners, researchers and volunteers) has the RIGHT to…

  • Be treated with respect
  • Be listened to and be heard
  • Be in a place that is safe (physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually)
  • Be active partners in care
  • Be given information that is needed to provide or receive the best care