March 6-12 marked a weeklong recognition of the importance of patient safety, spearheaded by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). The foundation designs the event around the need to highlight improved patient-provider communication as a vital part of keeping patients safe.

To join in the celebration and support the platform of increased communication, The Joint Commission is releasing the first in a series of animated “Speak Up” videos to encourage patients to speak up and be active participants in their own healthcare.

The 60-second videos will air on The Joint Commission’s YouTube channel and in other venues. The characters in the videos encounter situations where they have to “speak up” in everyday life, such as ordering items from a bakery or restaurant, or valet parking a car. The videos point out that you should be just as comfortable speaking up about your healthcare, whether in a doctor’s office or at the hospital.

Certainly, there are ways that patients can help themselves as far as learning to join in the conversation about their own treatment and care. But I think the design of our healthcare facilities can play just as important a role in the process.

How have you incorporated elements into your designs to encourage discussion in the medical environment? From improving privacy to sound masking, these concepts are used in our industry every day.

Share some of the ways you’ve celebrated patient safety awareness in your own way.