The Joint Commission has developed two new resources to help health care providers in their efforts to reduce patient readmissions and improve the discharge process. The resources are a new Speak Up campaign for providers and organizations to educate patients, including an infographic, animated video and podcast; and a Quick Safety newsletter for health care professionals that includes suggested actions for improving transitions.

The importance of transitions in improving patient safety is illustrated by The Joint Commission’s sentinel event data compiled from January 2014 to October 2015. The data show a total of 197 sentinel events – from suicide to falls to wrong site surgery – and the root causes included failures in patient communication (127 incidents), patient education (26 incidents) and patient rights (44 incidents). The majority of the patient education failures were related to not assessing the effectiveness of patient education or not providing education. The patient rights failures included absent or incomplete informed consent, and lack of the patient’s participation in their care.

The new public service campaign “Speak Up: Avoid a return trip to the hospital” uses easy-to-understand language to help patients understand the steps they should take after they are discharged to avoid returning to the hospital. The materials are free and available on The Joint Commission’s website.

To learn more, visit www.jointcommission.org/speakup.