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The TakeCHARGE Campaign looks to better patient safety by encouraging people to become informed and active participants on their own health care team. It is unique in its approach to directly engage patients and their families to TakeCHARGE of their health care decisions with the 5 Steps to Safer Health Care.

The TakeCHARGE Campaign is an initiative of the Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy, a not-for-profit organization that is a leader in empowering and supporting patients and their families to be active members of their health care teams and support them through this journey. To learn more about Pulse’s work visit

Take 5: Patients can TakeCHARGE of their own care

This Take 5 with The Joint Commission discusses the TakeCHARGE campaign, its importance in the health care industry and the value of patients taking charge of their own care. Learn more from Ilene Corina, a former Joint Commission board member and current president and patient safety advocate for Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy.

Understand and Complete Your Advance Directives

“Advance Directives” is a general name for several kinds of documents you can sign to help ensure that your wishes about medical treatment are known and respected if you are unable to communicate for yourself. Designate someone who can speak on your behalf at times when you can’t.

Keep a Record of Your Medical History and Current Medications

Keep a detailed record of your medical history and all past and current medications, vitamins, and herbs. Bring this information with you to every medical appointment. Tell them about any drug allergies you have.

Prepare for Doctor Visits and Make a List of Questions

Make your doctor visit count. Prepare a list of questions and symptoms before you visit your doctor or go for a procedure or to the hospital. A doctor won’t be able to answer your questions if you don’t ask.

Prevent Infections and Ask Caregivers to Wash Their Hands

50% of providers fail to perform hand hygiene. Help stop the spread of infections. Ask caregivers to wash their hands before touching you.

Use an Advocate or Be an Advocate for Others

The overall goal of a patient advocate is to provide patients and caregivers with the support and education they need so they can make their own decisions about their next steps.