Chronic Pain Sufferers: Speak Up!

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

chronic painIn pain? The Joint Commission is recommending that sufferers of chronic pain “speak up.” The Joint Commission is launching a national campaign to help Americans work with their healthcare professionals to better manage pain. The new education campaign is part of The Joint Commission’s award-winning Speak Up™ program that helps patients become more informed and involved in their health care, and coincides with Pain Awareness Month in September:

The framework of the Speak Up™ program urges patients 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 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 errors.
  • 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 healthcare team.
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