In March 2002, The Joint Commission, together with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, launched a national campaign to urge patients to take a role in preventing health care errors by becoming active, involved and informed participants on the health care team. The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation utilizes Speak Up in its Patient Safety Education Forums. For more information, go to the Speak Up website at http://www.jointcommission.org/speakup.aspx.
Speak – Speak up if you have questions or concerns
Pay attention – Make sure you are getting the right treatments and the right medicines. Don’t assume anything
Educate Yourself – Learn about your illness, conditions, diagnosis, medical tests and procedures.
Ask – If you do not understand something, ask again. Ask a family member or friend to be your advocate – especially in the hospital. Ask to see the math. Ask to “double-check.” Ask your pharmacist.
Know – Know your medication – dose and frequency. Know your weight in pounds and kilograms. Know your allergies.
Understand – Understand why you need medication, understand medication instructions. Make a copy of the original Rx before giving it to your pharmacist. Understand your plan of care.
Participate – Participate with your healthcare team. You are the most important person. Trust your instincts.