Joint Commission announces new patient safety campaign

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The Joint Commission announced Oct. 7 the "Speak Up Against Discrimination" campaign, an educational campaign encouraging patients to report if they experience discrimination while receiving healthcare.

Executive Vice President, CMO and Chief Diversity Inclusion Officer Ana Pujols McKee, said in a press release the organization has "no tolerance" for discrimation in healthcare. 

"Unfortunately, institutional, systemic racism and bias still exist in health care," Dr. Pujols McKee said. "While we have Joint Commission standards and requirements in place to help health care organizations provide care that is free from discrimination, I strongly encourage any patient who receives discriminatory care to speak up and act. By doing so, you may help future patients from being discriminated against." 

The campaign recommends steps patients can take if they experience discrimination and/or substandard care:

  • Find out the organization’s policy for reporting complaints. If possible, try to work with the organization. 
  • Talk to the organization’s patient advocacy department.
  • File a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or with the state health department. 
  • Contact the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. 
  • If the issue remains unaddressed and the organization is accredited or certified by The Joint Commission, report a patient safety concern to its Office of Quality and Patient Safety. 

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