Speak Up Campaign as a Tool for Helpful Information on Varying Topics

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“Speak Up”, a program developed by The Joint Commission, is geared toward the education and involvement of patients in their healthcare. The “Speak Up” campaign supplies the public with helpful information on varying topics through the use of videos and brochures. In February of 2005 the brochure “Speak Up: Information For Living Organ Donors” was released to inform any part of the public which is involved in an organ donation process. This brochure answers any question that an organ donor or recipient may have from who can be a donor, is organ donation successful, how to prepare for surgery, and what to ask your doctor before during and after the procedure.

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Summary of Brochure

The brochure “Speak Up: Information For Living Organ Donors” informs organ recipients and organ donation candidates about the process of donating an organ. The brochure addresses the many concerns or questions that someone may have about the process. The first topic that the brochure addresses is who can be a donor. The brochure firmly states that a donor “cannot have diseases like diabetes, cancer, and kidney, heart and blood disease” (Joint Commission, 2015). The brochure then goes to explaining that there are many tests which will be performed to determine whether a candidate is a match also that with any surgery there are risks for infection and other complications and therefore not all organ donations are successful. The informative pamphlet then addresses that an organ donor can change their mind at any point in time. The next three topics discussed in the brochure are the most important; How do you get ready for the surgery, what happens after the surgery, and what should you ask the doctor. The majority of the brochure is spent talking about what you should ask your doctor and this shows the amount of emphasis the Speak Up campaign makes on communication between patients and their healthcare providers. Some topics that the brochure encourages to talk to their doctors about are tests to be performed, the surgery, surgeon experience, recovery, risks of surgery, effects of donation on your health, and when you can get back into your normal routine (The Joint Commission, 2015).

Evaluation of Brochure

“Speak Up: Information For Living Organ Donors” caught my interest because throughout my college years I have seen events on campuses advertising for people to test to see if they are a bone marrow match for someone in need. This has always caught my eye and been a thought in the back of my mind as something I could do for someone else. I have always known the organ donation process to be a lengthy one although the movies and media make it sound so simple but I have never really known exactly what it entailed. The brochure is very organized and well laid out but seems to lack detailed information. All of the answers to the frequently asked questions seemed to be very vague. The vagueness of the brochure may be due to the fact that organ donation is very tailored and unique to the specific organ which is being donated and therefore the process is unique to each and every situation. The research which I have previously conducted through my time as a nursing student as well as being an interest of mine has shown to line up with exactly what the brochure describes and therefore I feel I can trust the information given. Although the brochure may be vague it is very beneficial for hospitals to have available to their patients as these situations are never planned and you never know when someone may need these answers quickly and at their disposal. This information is very vital in giving someone the direction that they need in making this very important life decision. Organ donors and recipients both would be interested in reading this as they both should know the process as well as risks of organ donation. This information is also vital to patient safety because beginning the process of organ donation is lengthy, expensive, and risky and should be made aware to a patient before they start the process. If a patient is unaware of the risks involved they could become hurt and if the patient is unaware of the length of the process but start anyway they could lose a job, or enrollment in school due to their unexpected time away. The brochure also promotes patient safety as regard to health literacy, a patient may not know what organ donation means and if too timid to ask their health care provider could be given the brochure and make the educated decision fully knowing what they are signing up for.


Organ donation is an act of true sacrifice and love. Organ donation can be necessary is a wide variety of situation and can be exchanged between family or complete strangers. The Joint Commission recognizes the importance of organ donation and how its presence in the health care setting can sometimes be perceived as scary or confusing. In the Joint Commission’s campaign “Speak up”, they released a brochure answering the frequent questions that patients have regarding the topic. This brochure has bridged a communication gap between patients and their health care providers by stirring more questions that they may have regarding the organ donation process. The brochure also promotes patient safety as it explains what organ donation is providing proper health literacy as well as explaining that the process can be lengthy as well as risky. The Joint Commission provided a thoughtful, insightful, and properly informative brochure regarding organ donation which both recipients and donors will both be thankful for when the situation arises.

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