Our badge of honor: U.S. leads way in medical errors, costs

Reuters recently reported about a study that concludes U.S. leads way in medical errors, costs:

Patients in the United States reported higher rates of medical errors and more disorganized doctor visits and out-of-pocket costs than people in Canada, Britain and three other developed countries, according to a survey released on Thursday.

Thirty-four percent of U.S. patients received wrong medication, improper treatment or incorrect or delayed test results during the last two years, the Commonwealth Fund found.

Patients in the United States reported the highest rate of disorganized care at doctor’s offices — 33 percent — followed by Germany with 26 percent, Canada with 24 percent and New Zealand with 21 percent. Patients in Britain and Australia reported 19 percent.

U.S. patients also stood out for shouldering more medical expenses than those in the other countries. More than half said they did not take their medicines or see a doctor because of costs.

Still feel lucky to be living here in the states? 🙂

By the way, don’t rush out and purchase new IT systems — most medical errors or treatment mistakes won’t be solved without fixing our people and processes and incentives. Automating a bad process will simply make it worse.

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