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New Speak Up At Your Telehealth Visit campaign from The Joint Commission

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois, August 31, 2022) – The Joint Commission has released Speak Up™ At Your Telehealth Visit, a new patient safety campaign designed to educate healthcare consumers on how to navigate virtual healthcare as it changes the way patients and providers can interact.

Telehealth, which has grown in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, has many benefits. It saves travel time and transportation costs, increases access to specialists and for second opinions, and can take place almost anywhere a patient can have a private conversation.

The Speak Up campaign lists some healthcare services that may be conducted via telehealth:

  • Therapy or counseling sessions.
  • Monitoring chronic conditions with a hybrid approach – that is, alternating in-person visits with telehealth evaluations.
  • Prenatal care.
  • Genetic counseling.
  • Following up after an in-person visit.
  • Observation for acute respiratory viral illnesses.

However, patients may experience some challenges during a telehealth visit. They can prepare for their visit by:

  • Reading any instructions sent by the care team.
  • Checking with insurance provider to ensure telehealth is covered.
  • Writing down any questions that arise 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.

“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,” said Ana Pujols McKee, MD, FACP, executive vice president, chief medical officer, and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, The Joint Commission. “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.”

The Speak Up campaign includes 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.

Organizations are free to reproduce and disseminate Speak Up™ At Your Telehealth Visit materials if they credit The Joint Commission.