8600 Old Georgetown Road | Bethesda, MD 20814
301-896-3100

Speak Up Program


In March 2002, The Joint Commission together with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched a national campaign to urge patients to take a role in preventing health care errors by becoming active, involved and informed participants on the health care team. The program features brochures, posters and buttons on a variety of patient safety topics. Speak Up™ encourages the public to:

  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know.

  • Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you’re getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Don’t assume anything.

  • Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing, and your treatment plan.

  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.

  • Know what medications you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common health care mistakes. 

  • Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center, or other type of health care organization that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established state-of-the-art quality and safety standards, such as that provided by The Joint Commission.

  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.

Here are brochures developed in concert with this program. Click on the name to view the pdf file; you are also welcome to print the information.Click here for more information.

Preventing Errors in Your Care

(Spanish Version)

Preventing Infection

(Spanish Version)

Avoiding Medication Errors

(Spanish Version)

Planning Your Follow-Up Care

(Spanish Version)