New Joint Commission Book Advises Parents on Their Child's Health Care Safety

Pediatrician Answers Common Health-Related Questions From Parents

Wilmette, Illinois, UNITED STATES

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL--(Marketwire - March 16, 2010) -  For parents, choosing the best emergency department for their child or deciding whether to give their child medicine or what to do if their child is hospitalized can be difficult situations. The new book, "The Smart Parent's Guide to Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents," gives advice on these and many other important questions that parents frequently ask their pediatricians.

The book, released today, was developed through a collaboration of The Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources (JCR), The Joint Commission's not-for-profit affiliate and official publisher, along with RealAge and its chief pediatric officer, Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg. The book was published by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster. This is The Joint Commission's second book for health care consumers since the well-received publication of "YOU: The Smart Patient" in 2006. The foreword for "The Smart Parent's Guide" is written by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D, who collaborated with The Joint Commission on "YOU: The Smart Patient."

The author, pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg, a well-known parenting expert, offers advice for parents on raising healthy kids and getting through the times when they are not so healthy. "Dr. Jen" is a practicing pediatrician in New York City, an assistant clinical professor in pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is also the author of "Good Kids, Bad Habits."

"The Smart Parent's Guide" offers guidance on making health care decisions so parents don't feel overwhelmed by all of the advice available in today's information-saturated Internet era, from deciding what kind and whether or not to give a child medication to dealing with a full-blown medical emergency. The book gives easy-to-understand expert answers to commonly asked questions about medications, healthy diets, infection prevention, sleep habits, vaccinations and more.

"We wrote this book with Dr. Jen because our organization's vision is that all people should always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value health care," says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. "As a father and grandfather, I know the challenges of parenting. "The Smart Parent's Guide" is a wonderful resource for parents seeking advice about a child's health care. Whether the reader is a new parent or grandparent, they are all likely at some time or another to be faced with a difficult decision to make about their child or grandchild's health care."

"JCR and The Joint Commission want consumers, and in this case the parents and guardians of children, to know how to be the best possible patient advocate for their child," says Karen H. Timmons, M.A., M.M., president and CEO, JCR. "Parents need to know what questions to ask their child's health care provider, to be empowered to question anything they do not understand about the care their child is receiving, and to speak up if something does not seem right. If parents can do that, then they're also setting an example for their children."

"The Smart Parent's Guide" includes recommendations to help parents:

  • Protect their child's health -- in the emergency department, pediatric unit, pharmacy, and doctor's exam room, and at home;
  • Choose the right pediatrician, the right hospital (make sure it's Joint Commission accredited!), and the right emergency department;
  • Ask smart questions to be involved and stay on top of their child's care when they are at the pediatrician's office due to an illness or for a checkup, at the emergency department, or admitted to the hospital;
  • Navigate the emergency department and ensure their child gets the best care in the timeliest way;
  • Navigate a hospital stay with their child; and
  • Deal with the health care system if their child has a chronic illness or special needs.

"The Smart Parent's Guide" is available in most bookstores and on For free excerpts from the book and more information, visit the JCR web site at

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 17,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 9,500 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,300 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. In addition, The Joint Commission also provides certification of more than 1,000 disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

Joint Commission Resources (JCR), a not-for-profit affiliate of The Joint Commission, is the official publisher and educator of The Joint Commission. JCR is an expert resource for health care organizations, providing consulting services, educational services and publications to assist in improving quality and safety and to help in meeting the accreditation standards of The Joint Commission. JCR provides consulting services independently from The Joint Commission and in a fully confidential manner. Please visit our web site at

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