The Joint Commission
News Item (jointcommission.org)
September 12, 2013
Speak Up™ Video Provides Helpful Tips for Health Care in the Home
By: Elizabeth Eaken Zhani, Media Relations Manager
A new Joint Commission Speak Up™ video, “Speak Up: At Home,” released today, shows people who need medical care at home how to make the most of their experience and protect their health.
Video characters Nurse Clare, Home Care Aide Jesse and Home Medical Equipment Specialist Boyd help Hector in his home with his IV, oxygen tank and daily living needs while his wife Reyna watches and helps. “Speak Up: At Home” emphasizes that patients and their families or friends should ask questions in order to be sure they receive the care necessary to get better. The video, the ninth episode in the animated Speak Up series, advises that patients receiving home care and their loved ones:
- Know that health care professionals coming to the home are there to help;
- Check the badges of visiting health care professionals, and ask why they are there and how often they will visit;
- Find out who to contact with questions and how to contact them;
- Work with visiting licensed health care professionals to verify prescribed and over-the-counter medications are correct;
- Understand how medical equipment that is delivered to the home works;
- Ask questions if something the home care professional says isn’t clear; and
- Find out what should be done when home care services end.
Produced by The Joint Commission, Speak Up’s entertaining videos are intended as public service announcements. The series airs on The Joint Commission’s YouTube Channel, as well as other venues, and has received more than 105,000 views on YouTube alone. Previous videos in the series, the first of which debuted in March 2011, emphasize the importance of understanding rights that all patients have; managing pain; being comfortable speaking up and asking questions about your health care; preventing infection; managing and taking medication safely; preparing for, and what to ask during, doctor’s office appointments; encouraging children to feel confident asking questions about their health; reducing the risk of falling; and addressing pain. The Joint Commission’s award winning Speak Up program also features brochures and posters 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 21 campaign brochures and seven 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. Speak Up brochures and posters also are available for purchase through Joint Commission Resources at (877) 223-6866 or online .