Joint Commission, Telehealth and patient safety

Joint Commission Releases No-Cost Telehealth and Patient Safety Materials


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Released by the Joint Commission to advance telehealth and patient safety education, the Speak Up At Your Telehealth Visit campaign provides practitioners with no-cost materials for patients. The Joint Commission’s professionally-designed video provides telehealth education to assist patients who face challenges navigating virtual care. The video was designed to help patients who may not fully benefit from their telehealth encounters due to a lack of preparation. Materials are available in Spanish and English.

The accompanying Distribution Guide is available to help give professionals implementation approaches for use in hospitals, ambulatory care centers, home health, and behavioral care.

For behavioral settings, the guide suggests that professionals:

  • Post the infographic in waiting rooms and other entryways.
  • Add the infographic to admission packets.
  • Include the infographic or video in any newsletters or other external promotional materials.
  • Share the infographic and video at safety meetings and with your organization’s board of directors and other leadership groups.
  • Play the video in communal living areas.
  • Provide the infographic at any welcome desk for visitors.
  • Provide a link to the entire Speak Up campaign on your organization’s website.

The materials suggest that patients prepare for their visit by:

  • Reading any instructions sent by the care team.
  • Checking with the insurance provider to ensure telehealth is covered.
  • Writing down any questions before, during, or after the visit.
  • Keeping a list of current medications or symptoms.
  • Finding a comfortable, quiet, and private place with a lot of light.

Ana Pujols McKee, MD, FACP, executive vice president, chief medical officer, and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer from the Joint Commission, explained:

The appropriate use of telehealth has the power to make healthcare more accessible for patients with diverse health needs and for underserved communities. However, as with any healthcare experience, there is room for human error and miscommunication…. Patients can have a better telehealth experience by becoming aware of the benefits and risks of telehealth and speaking up when they have questions or concerns.

Organizations can reproduce and disseminate Speak Up™ At Your Telehealth Visit materials if they credit The Joint Commission. The campaign materials include an informational poster in English and Spanish, an animated video that explains the uses and benefits of telehealth, and a distribution guide that aims to help organizations determine how to disseminate the information to patients.

If you think these telehealth and patient safety materials would be helpful for your practice, please comment below to describe how you plan to share them with your clients or patients. Your plan could provide needed inspiration for a colleague.

Introduction to Telehealth Theory & Practice

Enjoy a fast-moving overview of telebehavioral and telemental health. Understand the key points related to telehealth clinical, legal, ethical, technology, reimbursement, social media and other pivotal issues.

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