Patient safety

Contribute to your own safety

Contribute to your own safety


When you register, you will receive a wristband. Always bring your identity card. The wristband makes it clear who you are under all circumstances. The wristband shows your last name, first name and date of birth. Remember to:

  • check the data on the wristband and to report errors immediately;
  • wear this wristband throughout your hospital stay;
  • inform a nurse if the wristband comes loose or you lose it as soon as possible.


  • Provide an accurate and complete list of the medications you take at home. This list can be found in the information package you received. If necessary, ask your GP or pharmacist for help with filling in your list of medications. Take these drugs, in their original packaging, to the hospital. Put your medications into the paper medicine bag.
  • On arrival at the ward, a nurse will go over the form with you. If you are allergic to certain drugs, please report this during this conversation.
  • The medication that you brought with you from home is kept at the nursing station. You will get it back when you are discharged from the hospital.

Electrical appliances

  • For your safety and that of your fellow patients, we ask that you do not bring any unnecessary equipment with you when you are admitted. The hospital is not responsible for accidents caused by or involving electrical appliances brought from home.
  • The use of mobile phones is permitted, except in the places where it is indicated that use is not permitted.

Fall prevention

Fall prevention

A fall can happen easily. The risk of falling after surgery or when taking certain medications is high. Moreover, the risk of falling also increases with age.

Have you had a fall in the past six months? Make sure to discuss this with your physician.

You can reduce the risk of falling during your admission as follows:

  • be careful and ask for help if necessary;
  • if necessary, use an appropriate aid when you take a step;
  • always wear suitable and good footwear;
  • check that the bedside table is close to you and that the call system is within easy reach;
  • report it if you have recently fallen or if you nearly fell;
  • keep moving if your physician allows it.

The ‘Fall prevention: tips to prevent falls’ leaflet provides tips in relation to personal care and exercise, safe conditions at home, aspects that you should discuss with your physician and what to do should you have a fall.

The ‘Fall prevention ‘just in time’’ leaflet contains more about the importance of staying active. It also provides exercises and further information about aids and equipment.

Only available in Dutch:

Only available in Dutch:

Questions? Contact?

Should you have any further questions after you get home, feel free to contact an occupational therapist and/or physical therapist.

  • Fall prevention Maria Middelares General Hospital: 09 246 99 36.
  • Fall prevention AZ St Vincent General Hospital in Deinze: 09 387 72 66

Hospital hygiene and infection prevention

Hospital hygiene and infection prevention

The main mission of the Infection Prevention Team is to prevent health care-associated infections. These infections have significant physical, mental and economic consequences. You, too, can do your part to prevent health care-associated infections by observing the measures shown below.


Pump two doses of hand alcohol into your palm and rub your hands for 30 seconds. Then allow your hands to air dry.

Hands serve, both direct and indirectly, as the main transmission route for undesirable microorganisms. Therefore, good hand hygiene is the simplest and most effective way to reduce and even prevent health care-associated infections. Our staff take great care to disinfect and/or wash their hands. Feel free to speak to them about this. It is also important for you and your visitors to wash their hands regularly (e.g. after going to the toilet and before eating). Ask your visitors to sanitise their hands when entering the room. Use the available facilities for this purpose.

Additional information is available in the leaflet below.

Only available in Dutch:

Good sneezing and coughing hygiene also prevents the interpersonal transmission of bacteria and viruses. Here are some tips:

  • Always turn your head away if you have to sneeze or cough.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. Use either disposable paper tissues or your elbow crease.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing.

Patients who are carriers of certain microorganisms will not only be identified but also isolated to prevent further transmission. In which case, we will provide a single room and, depending on the type of germ, we will use specific protective equipment like a protective apron, gloves, protective goggles, etc. We will display these measures on the isolation card attached to the door. It is important that you and your visitors follow these measures properly.

Always inform your attending physician or the nurse if:

  • you are or were a carrier of a multi-resistant bacterium, e.g. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) or Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE);
  • you have frequent contact with pigs or veal calves;
  • you work as a care provider
  • you are (potentially) infected with a specific virus, e.g. COVID-19, HIV.

Notify staff not only during your admission, but also during consultations before and after your hospitalisation. In this way, we want to prevent further spread in our hospitals. If necessary, your treatment will be postponed.

You can find more information about this in the MRSA and CPE leaflet.

Only available in Dutch:

Only available in Dutch:

The HOST(Hospital Outbreak Support Team) project of the E17 hospital network strengthens the cooperation among the network's hospitals regarding infection control and improving the usage of anti-infectives agents. This means that the hospital hygiene teams of the various hospitals coordinate and make their expertise available to each other and residential collectives, such as residential care centres and primary care.

The HOST project is run in collaboration with the Belgian Antibiotic Policy Coordination Commission (BAPCOC) and the FPS Public Health. More information is available on the E17 hospital networkwebsite.

Safety limiting measures

Safety limiting measures

Freedom of movement

Our hospitals stand for experiential care, which seeks to support the rights, values and beliefs of our patients. Our health care providers take into account the personality of each individual and try to find out what is behind every kind of behaviour.

Therefore, our organisation therefore adopts a policy that aims for freedom of movement, meaning restraint is only applied if the patient poses a danger to himself or others. Fixation is defined as ‘any procedure, material or equipment on or near the patient that cannot be easily removed and which restricts the patient's freedom of movement’.

Such a decision is taken jointly by team members and is reconsidered by the treating team during each patient meeting. The duration of fixation is kept as short as possible. The family of the patient, if they are known, are informed within 24 hours.

Only available in Dutch:


Our hospitals provide care to mentally vulnerable patients, in an atmosphere of trust and safety, and with maximum patient decision-making rights.

Nevertheless, situations can occur in which the psychological suffering is so great that the safety of the patient can no longer be guaranteed. If, during a crisis, the patient proves to be a danger to him or herself and others, the patient can be isolated in a secure room.

Separation is an exceptional measure that is only applied in extreme situations, always in consultation with the treating team and with the patient and for the shortest possible time. Our care providers act according to a fixed procedure that is integrated into the crisis development model, which focuses on the integrity of the patient within the context of freedom-restricting measures. The family of the patient, if they are known, are informed within 24 hours.

Coercive medication

We are fully committed to multidisciplinary care tailored to the patient. Patient participation regarding the treatment is an important aspect here. In acute crisis situations, it is possible that medication may have to be administered during treatment without the patient's consent. This measure is part of the medication guidance and therefore only takes place after definite instructions by the physician.

The administration of coercive medication is covered by the freedom-restricting measures described in an established procedure. This stresses the exceptional nature of the measures that are only applied when there are no other options. The family of the patient, if they are known, are informed within 24 hours.

Theft prevention; aggression or suspicious behaviour?

Theft prevention; aggression or suspicious behaviour?

Our hospitals are buildings that are accessble by the public. Theft of valuables and money can never be completely ruled out. Therefore, please keep the following tips in mind:

  • do not leave valuables in your car and lock it carefully;
  • jewellery and other trinkets (e.g. piercings) are not allowed in the operating theatre for hygienic reasons and are best left at home if possible;
  • do not keep valuables or large sums of money in your room. You can deposit bank cards or important documents for safekeeping. Please ask a nurse about this. If you do become the victim of theft, report it immediately to the nurses or internal security.

If you notice that someone is behaving suspiciously or if you have been the victim of violence, harassment or unwanted (sexual) behaviour, report this immediately to a hospital staff member. The hospital management will be informed and will take the necessary measures.

Avoiding incidents and improvement measures

Avoiding incidents and improvement measures

Have you been involved in an incident?

To be able to set up improvement actions, it is important that we are aware of these incidents. Do you think that you yourself have been affected by an incident? Make sure that your healthcare provider is informed.

If you wish to, you can also indicate this via the ombudsperson.

Treatment and hospital stays are not always risk-free. There may be side effects, complications or other undesirable events. The approach of our hospital is to limit this as much as possible.

Patient safety is about reducing accidental and avoidable harm in the hospital. We try to prevent errors as much as possible in our care processes. If they do crop up, we try to learn from them in order to avoid a repeat of similar incidents.

Adverse events or risky situations can be reported by any employee via an internal reporting and learning system. These reports are analysed for learning and improvement purposes. By understanding the possible causes of a situation, targeted improvement actions can be set up that improve overall patient safety.

With serious incidents, patients and their loved one(s) receive the necessary information to understand what happened as well as what happens next. If you have any questions about this as a patient, you can always ask your attending physician. As a hospital, we also ensure that the care providers involved receive the necessary support and that we learn from these incidents.