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The Joint Commission
A Snapshot of Story Topics Available to the Media From The Joint Commission Spring 2011
The Joint Commission’s Quarterly Story Topics Alert
This quarterly alert puts the latest information on the quality and safety of patient care at your fingertips. If you are looking for hot topics or ideas with a seasonal angle, please consider this resource as a guide and a way to spark fresh story ideas.

Story Topics

EMT Emergency Preparedness, do American Hospitals Have a Plan?
Recent events in Japan have left many questioning how prepared their community hospital is to handle an emergency situation. The Joint Commission is a great resource to answer questions about hospital emergency preparedness, and has required organizations to have detailed disaster planning for more than 30 years. The Joint Commission’s hospital accreditation standards require organizations to identify the potential emergencies that could affect them, and develop appropriate plans that address the four phases of emergency management activities: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Please contact us if you’d like to talk to a hospital emergency management expert.

Joint Commission Resources is hosting the annual “Emergency Preparedness 2011” conference on April 27 - 28 in Arlington, VA. Call us to arrange a press pass and click here for more information.

Click here to learn more about emergency management with this free, web-based guide which shares lessons learned from hospitals affected by America’s own recent natural disasters, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

To view The Joint Commission’s “Standing Together” emergency preparedness guide showing how health care organizations and American communities can work together during and after large scale emergencies, click here.

For more details on what The Joint Commission requires of health care organizations to prepare for emergencies, click here.

Meet the New Stars of The Joint Commission Speak Up™ Video Series
The Joint Commission has launched the first video in a new series to help improve patient safety by encouraging patients to speak up and be active participants in their health care. Our second video in the series debuts April 6, and will encourage patients to be vigilant about infection control. Like our other Speak Up™ campaigns, the videos are free and can be used by accredited organizations and other interested stakeholders that want to take part in educating the public about patient safety.




Her son, Andrew
Hosting family dinner parties

Bad customer service
When people don’t
wash their hands



A germ-free environment

Snooty waiters
Fish head soup


Spider-Man Band-Aids
Getting a sticker and a lollipop after a shot

Brussels Sprouts



Kick boxing and germ-fighting
His mother

The color pink



Patients who speak up
Doctors Without Borders


TV medical shows
Elevator music

Click here to watch the video.

To see our other available Speak Up materials click here.

DialysisHelp Dialysis Patients Stay Active and Involved in Their Hospital Care
The Joint Commission’s new public service campaign “Dialysis:  Five ways to be active in your care at the hospital” addresses topics such as finding out how dialysis should be managed during hospitalization, avoiding infections in the hospital, asking about medications and possible interactions, talking with the hospital dietician, and planning for a return home. 

To see the brochure and helpful tips for dialysis patients who are hospitalized, click here.

Click here to see the news release.


Spring is Here: What should Parents do if Their Child Needs Emergency Medical Attention?
With the warmer weather, children are spending more time outside and are more susceptible to injury. When a child has a medical emergency, every second counts. Parents need to have a detailed plan in place. But the closest urgent care center or hospital emergency department may not always be the best option. One reason, according to a study by the Institute of Medicine, is that 94 percent of hospitals in the U.S. are not fully equipped for pediatric emergencies.

So how do parents know where to take their child for the best emergency care? They can go online to find a Joint Commission accredited health care organization that fits their needs. The Joint Commission evaluates the level of care, treatment and services provided to patients in accredited organizations and holds them to very rigorous quality standards. So, when a parent has an emergency on their hands and calls a Joint Commission accredited health care provider, they can be confident in their choice for their child’s treatment.

Use this Joint Commission online search resource,, to find local accredited urgent care centers, hospital emergency departments and other health care providers by clicking here.

Click here for more details on the importance of finding an urgent care center accredited by The Joint Commission.

For more information on pediatric health care, check out The Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources’ book, “The Smart Parent’s Guide,” by clicking here. Contact us for a review copy or to setup an interview.

JCThe Joint Commission Launches Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care
The Joint Commission has officially announced that starting September 1, 2011 its accredited hospitals will now have the option to seek Advanced Certification in Palliative Care. Palliative care is an important field of medicine designed to improve the quality of life of patients and their families by relieving the pain, symptoms and stress of a serious or debilitating illness. The Joint Commission will promote excellence and improvement for palliative care by emphasizing:

  • A formal, organized palliative care program led by an interdisciplinary team whose members possess the requisite expertise in palliative care.
  • Leadership endorsement and support of the program’s goals for providing care treatment and services.
  • A special focus on patient and family engagement.
  • Processes which support the coordination of care and communication among all care settings and providers.
  • The use of evidence-based national guidelines or expert consensus to guide patient care.

Click here for more information online from The Joint Commission.

You can also view a copy of the palliative care news release by clicking here.

JCJoint Commission President Featured in Health Affairs’ Health Care Improvement Briefing
While American health care has been improving within the past 10 years, it has not been quick enough. Quality of care and health safety issues are still large problems. Errors like hospital-acquired infections and preventable adverse medical events, in addition to staff and budget inefficiencies, continually raise our health care costs nationwide. On April 7 Health Affairs will be featuring The Joint Commission’s President, Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., along with other national health care leaders and policy experts to address the present quality of American health care and how to move forward.

For the details on the Health Affairs briefing, click here.

Click here to learn more about The Joint Commission President, Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H.

Most of our news releases contain free downloadable video, audio and images for use, copyright free.