We Spend The Most On Health Care And Have The Least To Show For It In Terms Of Patient Safety

Hospital Mistake Lawyers.jpgIt’s a familiar theme: Americans spend the most on health care, and often get the least in return. Last December, I blogged about how we spend the most per patient on dialysis treatment and have the world’s highest dialysis mortality rate.
Now, from medicalcodingandbillingcertification.net, comes a new infograph that sets out how our hospitals are among the world’s most unsafe, despite our spending the most on health care. (H/t Andrew Sullivan). The infograph breaks down the reason why US hospitals rank last out of 19 developed countries in preventable hospital deaths.
You stand a 1 in 300 chance of dying in an American hospital due to medical error. (By way of contrast, the average American stands a 1 in 10,000,000 chance of dying in a plane crash).
In American hospitals, 1 in 7 hospital-acquired infections lead to death, while in Europe only 1 in 122 do so. 99,000 people die due to hospital-acquired infections in the US each year. American doctors only wash their hands about one-quarter of the number of times that they should.
The long hours of medical residents are another reason why American hospitals lag in safety. Residents who work five or more 24 hour shifts in a month are seven times as likely to make a medical error as their peers. Also, doctors leaving the hospital after a 24-hour shift are 168% more likely to be in a car accident on their way home.
Sometimes you get what you pay for. In American health care, we don’t.

This blog in maintained by the Boston medical malpractice lawyers at The Law Office of Alan H. Crede, P.C.