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Safety and Health Policies at UPMC in North Central Pa.

Our Health, Safety, and Privacy

UPMC aims to provide patients, staff and the surrounding community with policies that protect their health and well-being. We ask that you become familiar with the steps we're taking toward safer, healthier facilities and aid us in our mission.

No latex policy

The use of latex in hospitals across the country is a health and safety issue to patients, visitors and staff. Latex products are made from a milky fluid derived from the rubber tree. The powder in latex products, which makes the latex become airborne, most often causes latex allergy. Individuals sensitive to latex experience skin redness, hives or itching. They may also experience runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat and asthma.

UPMC in north central Pa. has made the commitment to become a latex-safe environment. As a result, we have discontinued the use of latex examination gloves at the patient's bedside. Currently our employees use synthetic gloves.

We also no longer permit latex balloons into our facilities. We hope you understand the importance of this goal and ask for your support. Please note that Mylar balloons do not fall into this category, as they do not contain latex.

Condition H

During a patient's stay at a UPMC facility, they have access to a special service called Condition H. When called upon, a response team will check on the patient and provide help before there is a life-threatening emergency.

Read more about our Condition H service (PDF).

Choosing a support person

A trusted friend or family member can be a big help during a patient's hospital stay. Select one key person to be a health care advocate. If the patient is too stressed or loses their ability to communicate, this support person can stand in for the patient and stand up for their care.

A support person can:

  • ask questions the patient might not think of or write down information
  • double-check a patient's medications and treatments
  • watch for signs that a patient's condition is getting worse and notify staff

Preventing falls

When a patient is admitted to a UPMC facility, staff evaluate a fall risk assessment. This assessment helps staff to determine if a patient is a fall risk.

Fall risk criteria:

  • patient has a history of falls
  • patient has impaired judgement or lack of safety awareness
  • patient is agitated or impulsive
  • patient exhibits an impaired or unsteady gait
  • patient is suffering from dizziness or vertigo
  • patient is taking medications that may contribute to falls

If a patient is considered a fall risk, the following will be put in place:

  • A yellow armband and a falling star hung on the patient's door to alert staff that the patient is a fall risk.
  • A poster in the patients room will be turned to "NO" notifying staff that a patient is not to be out of bed unaccompanied.
  • The patient's bed/chair alarm will be set which alerts staff when a patient is attempting to move without assistance.
  • Staff will constantly remind the patient to ring the bell for assistance and check on the patient hourly.
  • The patient will not be left alone in the bathroom.
  • Staff may place fall mats in the room, if deemed necessary.
  • A patient may be monitored through AvaSys Video Monitoring. The AvaSys system allows a technician to monitor a patient through a video feed, and audibly communicate with the patient if necessary. The video feed does not record and only uses a live stream to help ensure patient safety and privacy.

Checking IDs

For our patients' safety and to help us maintain a safe environment, UPMC Susquehanna takes extra precautions to be sure that patients are identified properly, especially when they are having procedures or receiving medications. To help out UPMC staff, patients are asked to provide their name and birth date when it is requested by staff to help verify their identity.

Website privacy policy/disclaimers

Our website is a tool intended to supplement the advice of your healthcare professional. Please read through our policy to ensure that you understand and adhere by our requests.

Read more about our website privacy policy/disclaimers.