Ask Questions

The Joint Commission, together with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, launched a national campaign, Speak Up™, to urge patients to take a role in preventing health care errors by being active, involved and informed participants of their own health care team.

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 your health care team. 

Visit the Joint Commission’s website to learn more about Speak Up™ initiatives and view free downloadable materials.

The Joint Commission has also released a series of short, animated Speak Up™ videos, which we encourage you to watch.