Speak Up

What is SpeakUpTM?

SpeakUp™ is an initiative supported in partnership with The Joint Commission.  The program encourages patients to "speak up" about your care, especially if you are seeing more than one doctor or nurse practitioner.  Your primary care provider needs to be aware of all of your treatments, conditions, and medications, to help ensure nothing conflicts and your health is on the right track.  Your provider also needs to know every change or concern in your health, however big or small, as early as possible.  Otherwise, problems can continue to progress until severe, irreversible damage is done, or until a disease becomes difficult to treat.  Speak up to your primary care provider and specialists often and early. 

SpeakUp™ encourages patients to follow these steps:

  • Speak up...

    • If you don't understand something or something doesn't seem right.
    • If you speak or read another language and would like an interpreter or translated materials.
    • If you need medical forms explained.
    • If you think you're being confused with another patient.
    • If you don't recognize a medicine or think you're about to get the wrong medicine.
    • If you are not getting your medicine or treatment when you should.
    • About your allergies and reactions you've had to medicines.
  • Pay attention...

    • Check identification (ID) badges worn by doctors, nurses, and other staff.
    • Check the ID badge of anyone who asks to take your newborn baby.
    • Don't be afraid to remind doctors and nurses to wash their hands.
  • Educate yourself...

    • So you can make well-informed decisions about your care.
    • Ask doctors and nurses about their training and experience treating your condition.
    • Ask for written information about your condition or medication.
    • Find out how long treatment should last, and how you should feel during treatment.
    • Ask for instruction on how to use your medical equipment.
  • Advocates... 

    • Are trustworthy family, friends, or neighbors who actively help you and advocate for you.
    • Give advice and support - but they should respect your decisions about the care you want.
    • Ask questions, and write down important information and instructions for you.
    • Make sure you get the correct medicines and treatments.
    • Go over the consent forms, so you all understand it.
    • Get instructions for follow-up care, and find out who to call if your condition gets worse.
  • Know your medicine...

    • Find out how your medicine will help.
    • Ask for information about your medicine, including brand and generic names.
    • Ask about side effects.
    • Find out if it is safe to take with your other medicines and vitamins.
    • Ask for a printed prescription if you can't read the handwriting.
    • Read the label on the bag of intravenous (IV) fluid so you know what's in it and that it is for you.
    • Ask how long it will take the IV to run out.
  • Use an organization with experience...

    • That takes care of other people with your condition.
    • Your doctor believes has the best care for your conditions.
    • That is accredited, meaning it meets certain quality standards.
    • Has a culture that values safety and quality, and works every day to improve care.
  • Participate...

    • Discuss each step of your care with your doctor.
    • Don't be afraid to get a second or third opinion.
    • Share your up-to-date list of medicines and vitamins with doctors and nurses.
    • Share copies of your medical recoreds with your health care team.
    • Ask if there is a support group for people with your condition.
    • Tell your doctor and your fmaily about your wishes for life-saving actions, like resuscitation.

Information about SpeakUp™ is available throughout Perry Memorial Hospital.  During your next visit, ask for a brochure and more information about SpeakUp™, and begin playing a more active role in your healthcare.

What should I do if I have concerns about the care I am receiving?

Our Patient Advocate acts as a liaison between our patients and the hospital, to help ensure the highest quality of care is provided for our patients and their families.  If you have questions or concerns about the care you are receiving, we recommend contacting the Patient Advocate at 815-876-4498.