New Joint Commission Speak Up(TM) Video Tackles Pain

Video Provides Patients With Easy-to-Understand Advice for Speaking Up About Pain

Wilmette, Illinois, UNITED STATES

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL--(Marketwire - Feb 27, 2013) - Today, The Joint Commission announced the release of "Speak Up: About Your Pain," an engaging animated video that illustrates the reasons why it is important for patients to speak up about their pain and provides easy-to-understand examples for the general public. The video's main characters, Henry and Julie, experience different kinds of pain: aching, throbbing, dull, shooting and cramping. During the course of the video they both learn how to tame their pain by speaking up and describing their conditions to their health care providers. "Speak Up: About Your Pain" explains that proper pain management can help patients feel better and heal faster, and encourages everyone to:

  • Make sure their pain is assessed by a health care provider;
  • Describe the pain they are experiencing to their caregivers;
  • Take appropriate steps to alleviate pain instead of trying to "tough it out";
  • Ask their doctor or other caregiver about an alternative pain treatment if medication causes side effects; and
  • Inquire about other methods for treating their pain, such as physical therapy, acupuncture or massage therapy.

Produced by The Joint Commission, Speak Up's entertaining 60-second videos are intended as public service announcements. The series airs on The Joint Commission's YouTube Channel as well as other venues, including The Wellness Network, AccentHealth network, GetWellNetwork, LodgeNet Healthcare network, and has received nearly 80,000 views on YouTube alone. This is the eighth installment of the Speak Up video series. Previous videos emphasize the importance of speaking up and asking questions about: health care, preventing infection, taking and managing medication safely, preparing for a doctor's office appointment, reducing the risk of falling, and understanding patient rights. There is also a video produced for children that encourages them to speak up about their own health care.

The national program urges all 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.

The Joint Commission's Speak Up program has won multiple awards, including a Magnum Opus award in October 2012 for its video series, and also features brochures and posters on a variety of patient safety topics. Since its launch in 2002, the Speak Up program has grown to include 20 campaign brochures and six posters. For more information about the Speak Up program and free downloadable files of all the Speak Up videos, brochures and posters (including Spanish language versions) please visit The Joint Commission website at: Printed Speak Up brochures and posters also are available for purchase through Joint Commission Resources by phone at 877.223.6866, or online:

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 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 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

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Contact Information:

Media Contact:
Bret Coons
Media Relations Specialist