’Speak Up’ campaign targets patient falls

Accreditation Connection, July 30, 2010

In late July, The Joint Commission released an update to its popular “Speak Up” campaign, specifically targeting patient falls. The Speak Up campaign has been in existence since 2002 and its main purpose is to encourage patients to become more involved in their own care. Many organizations use the free, downloadable forms on The Joint Commission’s website regarding Speak Up to help inform their patients that they can participate in their care.

The latest iteration of the campaign involves preventing patient falls. It’s widely acknowledged that falls are the cause of many minor and major injuries, as well as death. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that falls are the number one reason that elderly patients are admitted to the hospital.

“Falls can cause serious to life-threatening injuries; however, there are steps people can take at home or in a health care facility to reduce their risk of falling,” says Mark R. Chassin, MD, MPP, MPH, president of The Joint Commission. “We want people to be aware of these simple yet important precautions and avoid preventable injuries.”

The Joint Commission’s new campaign includes action items to help people reduce their own risk of suffering a fall. Two of these include taking extra precautions in the hospital or in a nursing home and making small changes at home to prevent falls.

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