The Joint Commission
launches educational campaign
on patient rights
Multimedia materials inform patients about taking an active role in their care
(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois, Nov. 13, 2019) – The Joint Commission today launched its Speak Up™ For Your Rights campaign to educate patients and their advocates on their rights before, during and after receiving care. The campaign includes an infographic and animated video, in English and Spanish, available for free download and use.

New #SpeakUp campaign includes video and infographic for free download and use on #PatientRights  
Understanding patient rights is critical to receiving the best possible care. Patients who know their rights are better prepared to ask the right questions, helping them make informed decisions about the care and treatments right for them. By informing patients of their rights, providers can help ensure more patients are satisfied with their care.

Not everyone has extensive experience in health care, so understanding what information, respect and types of care patients deserve can prove challenging. To help, the campaign’s animated video provides an example of a patient and her advocates navigating the emergency room. In the video, parents Grant and Manuel seek care for their daughter after she breaks her wrist. As their daughter receives care, Grant and Manuel learn about their daughter’s rights as a patient, including their right to have an interpreter present and receive copies of their daughter’s medical records.

“Health care organizations’ recognition and respect for patients’ rights, along with patients’ understanding of their own responsibilities to uphold their rights, supports a positive provider-patient relationship necessary for the delivery of safe, quality care,” said Kathryn Petrovic, MSN, RN-BC, field director in surveyor management and development, Accreditation & Certification Operations.

The Speak Up™ For Your Rights infographic explains the rights patients should know to advocate for. Some of these rights include:

  • Being informed and making decisions about their care.
  • Being treated with courtesy and respect.
  • Having a patient advocate with them during their care.
  • Privacy of their health information.
  • Speaking to a patient representative about their rights.

The campaign also encourages patients to be active in their care. To help their caregivers help them, patients should ask questions about diagnoses, medicines and treatments, and they should inform caregivers about medicines, allergies and life-saving actions such as being put on a ventilator. Additionally, the campaign explains how advocates can help a patient seek the best care for them and how patients can improve care or report complaints if they believe a violation of patient rights took place.

Receiving care at a health care facility doesn’t have to be confusing. Patients who know their rights and when to speak up for them can place themselves in the right position to receive the best possible care.

About the Speak Up™ program
Launched in 2002, the award-winning Speak Up™ program has been used in more than 70 countries. It encourages patients to be their own advocates and to:

  • Speak up
  • Pay attention
  • Educate yourself
  • Advocates (family members and friends) can help
  • Know about your new medicine
  • Use a quality health care organization 
  • Participate in all decisions about your care
The Joint Commission’s refreshed Speak Up™ program debuted last year, after national market research including focus group feedback from patients and their families. 

For updates on new Speak Up™ campaigns as they become available, sign up for email alerts or subscribe to the e-newsletter Joint Commission Online. For more information about the Speak Up™ program, visit The Joint Commission website


About The Joint Commission
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 accredits and certifies more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit 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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Maureen Lyons
Corporate Communications
(630) 792-5171
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