(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. – March 8, 2011) To celebrate National Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 6-12, The Joint Commission is releasing the first in a series of animated Speak Up™ videos to encourage patients to speak up and be active participants in their health care.
Produced by The Joint Commission, these entertaining 60-second videos are intended as public service announcements and will air on The Joint Commission’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/TheJointCommission) and in other venues. The cast of characters introduced in the videos encounter situations where they have to “speak up” in everyday life such as ordering items from a bakery or restaurant, or valet parking a car. The videos point out that you should be just as comfortable speaking up about your health care whether in a doctor’s office or at the hospital.
The Joint Commission’s award winning Speak Up program features brochures, posters and buttons on a variety of patient safety topics. The national program urges patients to take a role in preventing health care errors by becoming active, involved and informed participants on the health care team. The basic framework of the Speak Up campaign encourages patients to:
Speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you still don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know.
Pay attention to the care you get. Always make sure you’re getting the right treatments and medicines by the right health care professionals. Don’t assume anything.
Educate yourself about your illness. Learn about the medical tests you get, and your treatment plan.
Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter).
Know what medicines you take and why you take them. Medicine errors are the most common health care mistakes.
Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center, or other type of health care organization that has been carefully checked out. For example, The Joint Commission visits hospitals to see if they are meeting The Joint Commission’s quality standards.
Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.
Since its launch in 2002, the Speak Up program has grown to include 16 campaign brochures and three posters, as well as Spanish language versions of all brochures.
Free downloadable files of all Speak Up brochures and posters (including Spanish language versions of the brochures) are available on The Joint Commission website at: http://www.jointcommission.org/speakup.aspx. Speak Up brochures and posters also are available for purchase through Joint Commission Resources at (877) 223-6866 or online at www.jcrinc.com.
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 9,700 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,800 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. In addition, The Joint Commission also provides certification of more than 1,700 disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.