Speak Up: Preparing for Surgery

How to Prepare for Surgery: A Brochure Review

“Speak Up: Preparing for Surgery” is a brochure by The Joint Commission giving essential advice on preventing medical errors. Errors are common in surgical procedures, including performing the wrong surgery or operating on the wrong part of the body. The Joint Commission provides information on the best practice to prevent mistakes before or after surgery in the brochure. The brochure is prepared for patients, who are essential stakeholders in the care process. It challenges them to become active participants, involved, and informed in the healthcare team.

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Summary of the Brochure

The brochure is written by the leading healthcare accrediting agency in the United States to inform patients about their rights as active participants in the care process and the expectations in surgical procedures to prevent medical errors. The brochure contains information for patients to intervene and avoid mistakes during their surgeries. It includes best practices categorized differently from the procedure preparation time to the expectations after the process. When preparing for surgery, the patient is advised on what to do and the questions to ask the doctor. It is also necessary to have someone accompany the patient to the hospital.

The brochure informs the patient about what to do at the surgical facility, such as signing the informed consent. It notifies the patient about what must happen during the surgery, including marking and verifying the exact spot where the operation will be performed. Finally, information is provided on the expectations after surgery, including best practices in pain management and the necessary drugs to use (The Joint Commission, n.d). The brochure encourages constant communication between the patient and the healthcare team for quality patient outcomes. 

Evaluation of the Brochure

The brochure contains essential information on the patient’s involvement in the care process to avoid medical errors. The booklet is well-laid out in various sections that the reader can easily follow. The topic is interesting and contains information supporting research findings indicating the importance of patient-centered care. According to Doyle, Lennox, and Land Bell (2013), the model places the patient at the center of the care process. Consequently, the patient must be an informed participant in the health care team. Conventionally, healthcare providers make many important decisions on the patient’s behalf, making one a passive care recipient.

The brochure is an authoritative source of information that assists the patient in playing an active role during surgical procedures and can be incorporated into patient education. Notably, the Joint Commission conveys information to the patients from the preparation and after the surgery, which benefits patients, their families, and healthcare providers. Evidence from research and information from the brochure provides significant insights into the role of the patient in the process of preventing adverse effects of medical procedures and ensure patient safety (Valdez, Holden, Novak, & Veinot, 2014). It covers all the necessary content that informs the patient about personal safety during the care process.

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The Joint Commission plays a vital role in providing information on patient safety. The organization has written critical information in the brochure to increase awareness and prevent surgical mistakes, which are common in medical procedures. The advice will make the patient be more informed and able to identify any potential dangers during surgeries and communicate to avoid adverse outcomes.


Doyle, C., Lennox, L. & Bell, D. (2013). A systematic review of evidence on the links between patient experience and clinical safety and effectiveness. BMJ Open3 (1), e001570.

The Joint Commission (n.d). Speak up: Preparing for surgery. Retrieved from https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/wrong_site_brochure.pdf

Valdez, R. S., Holden, R. J., Novak, L. L. & Veinot, T. C. (2014). Transforming consumer health informatics through a patient work framework: Connecting patients to context. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association22 (1), 2-10.






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