Speak Up & Help Prevent Errors
To prevent health care errors, patients are urged to .. Speak UP!
EVERYONE has a role in making health care safe. That includes doctors, health care executives, nurses and many health care technicians. Health care organizations all across the country are working to make health care safe. As a patient, you can make your care safer by being an active, involved and informed member of your health care team.
An Institute of Medicine report says that medical mistakes are a serious problem in the health care system. The IOM says that public awareness of the problem is an important step in making things better. The Speak Up™ program is sponsored by The Joint Commission. They agree that patients should be involved in their own health care. These efforts to increase patient awareness and involvement are also supported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
This program gives simple advice on how you can help make health care a good experience. Research shows that patients who take part in decisions about their own health care are more likely to get better faster. To help prevent health care mistakes, patients are urged to “Speak Up.”
SPEAK UP if you have questions or concerns. If you still do not understand, ask again. It is your body and you have a right to know.
PAY ATTENTION to the care you get. Always make sure you are getting the right treatments and medicines by the right health care professionals. Do not 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.
The goal of the Speak Up™ program is to help patients and their advocates become more informed and involved in their health care.