More Americans said they were dissatisfied with healthcare quality now than four years ago, and 40% said healthcare has gotten worse over that time, according to a survey of 2,012 adults. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they were unhappy with quality of care today, compared with 44% in a survey four years ago. While 38% said healthcare quality was the same, 17% said it had improved. Some 48% of respondents said they were concerned about the safety of medical care they and their family members receive. The survey was a joint project of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Survey results indicated that most Americans who suffer a medical error never take the matter to court; 11% of respondents who reported personal experience with medical errors filed a malpractice suit; and 14% of those who said a medical error had serious health consequences for them sued the healthcare professional. Ninety-two percent of respondents said healthcare organizations should be required to report serious medical errors, and 63% wanted reports made public. Read the survey findings. -- by Tony Fong