Patient Safety

Learn about the Quality and Patient Safety initiatives that Central Vermont Medical Center has in place to ensure that our patients experience the best care possible.

Whether you are here for an outpatient procedure or are admitted into the hospital, quality and patient safety are our priorities. At CVMC, we have the following initiatives in place to ensure your safety:

Minimizing Infections

Our staff follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent health care-associated infections. Specific measures are incorporated into each patient’s care to prevent infections such as surgical site infection, blood stream infection, urinary tract infection and pneumonia.

Hand hygiene is one of the key infection prevention measures. All health care providers are required to wash or sanitize their hands before and after seeing each patient. In addition, health care providers wear clean gloves when they perform tasks such as drawing blood, or touching wounds or body fluids.

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

  • Make sure that all your health care providers clean their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after caring for you.
  • If you do not see your providers clean their hands, please ask them to do so.
  • Make sure family and friends clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after visiting you.
  • Clean your hands frequently – before you leave your room, before you eat and after using the bathroom.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing by using tissues or the bend of your elbow.


When you are admitted to the hospital, you may be asked about having an influenza or pneumococcal vaccination. These vaccines can be effective in preventing acquisition of these diseases and spreading them to others.

Reducing Medication Errors

As 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. We encourage you to know the medications you are taking and be actively involved whenever medications are being administered to you. This helps ensure that you are taking the proper medications while in the hospital, prevents duplication of medications and may prevent any drug-drug or drug-disease interactions.

This is also one of the ways you can partner with us to ensure that you have the safest possible care. Our pharmacy provides medications in unit dose bar-coded packaging as an additional safety measure. The bar-coding on your medication’s packaging matches the bar-coding on your identification bracelet.

Reducing Treatment Errors

When you are admitted for your surgery or a procedure, staff will ask your name and birth date, and will confirm your specific surgery or procedure and the side of the body to be operated on. Your doctor may mark your body at the procedure site. In addition, before the surgery/procedure, the team will perform a “time out” to ensure, among other things, that they are doing the right surgery on the right body part and on the right person.

Staff Identification

All hospital employees are required to wear photo identification badges. Be sure all your caregivers are wearing a hospital or nursing school identification badge with their picture on it.

Patient Identification

At CVMC quality and patient safety are our priorities. As part of our commitment to patient safety, all our inpatients are identified by patient ID bands. The bands also have a bar code that carries important patient information supporting safety and accurate billing. Remind all caregivers to look at your identification bracelet before giving medication, drawing blood or performing a procedure. For your safety, please do not remove this bracelet.

Fall Prevention

CVMC has the Red Sneaker Program to help protect our patients from falls. There are things you can do to reduce your risk of having 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; keep your eyeglasses near you.
  • Never climb over the bed rails.
  • Wear our Red Slippers with rubber soles to reduce the risk of slipping.

Other Safety Tips

Your health care team will work hard to provide you with a safe, high-quality patient care experience. As part of that effort, we encourage you to make sure you know how to use the nurse call button and emergency cords in all showers and bathrooms.