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The Joint Commission
The Joint Commission Debuts the Fourth Video in its Animated Speak UpTM Series
How Best to Prepare for, and What to Ask During, Doctor’s Office Appointments

(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. – June 1, 2011) The Joint Commission announces the release of its fourth and newest episode in the ongoing animated Speak Up™ video series. The new video, “Speak Up:  At The Doctor’s Office,” encourages patients to write down questions about their health, to share a list of their medications with their doctor, and make sure they understand everything that is explained during medical checkups. The first three videos in the series, the first of which debuted in March 2011, emphasize the importance of being comfortable speaking up about your health care; speaking up about infection control; and speaking up about managing and taking medication safely.

Produced by The Joint Commission, these entertaining 60-second videos are intended as public service announcements. They air on The Joint Commission’s YouTube Channel, as well as other venues. The new video features the characters Marge Popple, Dr. Gregg and Billy, as Marge confronts the need to “speak up” about a recurring pain in her left shoulder during a visit to her doctor’s office. The messages in this video explain the importance of preparing a list of questions for your doctor ahead of time; taking notes while listening carefully to your medical team; and repeating what your doctor or health care provider has shared to make sure you understand why you may need certain medications, why you are being examined, or why you may need a certain procedure or lab test.

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 17 campaign brochures and three posters, as well as Spanish language versions of all brochures.

Free downloadable files of all Speak Up videos, brochures and posters (including Spanish language versions of the brochures) are available on The Joint Commission website at: Speak Up brochures and posters also are available for purchase through Joint Commission Resources at (877) 223-6866 or online at


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 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,300 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,500 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also provides certification of more than 2,000 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