HomeResourcesPatient and Family Engagement Toolkit Speak up

During the Visit: Speak Up

An airmen talking to a patient.
  • We respect and welcome you and your family to speak up!
  • Bring up what you want to discuss at the beginning of your visit. Don’t wait until the end because there may not be enough time to discuss it thoroughly
  • If you don’t understand something, ask for a simpler explanation. We should always use plain language and not confuse you with medical jargon.
  • Repeat back what you heard to make sure it's right.

Ask Questions

Two airmen talking in an office.

3 Questions to ask (learn more at the National Patient Safety Foundation Ask Me 3® site):

  • What is my main problem?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Why is it important for me to do this?

Here are more questions to ask your healthcare provider (from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality).

Joint Commission Speak Up™

Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Learn more about the Speak Up™ patient safety program:

  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns.
  • Pay attention to the care you get.
  • Educate yourself about your illness.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter).
  • Know what medicines you take and why you take them.
  • Use a health care organization that has been carefully checked out.
  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment.

Partner With Your Healthcare Team : Better Care, Safer Care

  • Your healthcare provider is a medical expert, but YOU are the expert of YOU.
  • We want to provide healthcare that respects your preferences, needs, and values.
  • What can YOU do to help make care safe? Read this fact sheet.
Air Force Medicine