One-third of patients in the U.S. with more serious health problems experienced medical mistakes, medication errors or inaccurate or delayed lab results -- the highest rate among six countries in a survey by the Commonwealth Fund.
While the survey of patients with health problems found lax safety and poor care in all six countries, with no country deemed best or worst overall, the U.S. stood out for the high rate of errors, inefficient coordination of care and high out-of-pocket costs, according to the report. Patients in Canada reported the second-highest rate of errors, 30%, followed by Australia (27%), New Zealand (25%), Germany (23%) and the United Kingdom. (22%).
Sixty percent of errors happened outside hospitals, and the more physicians involved in a patient's care, the greater the chance of error. Between 61% and 83% of the patients surveyed, depending on the country, said providers did not tell them about mistakes.
The survey included responses from 700 to 750 adults in Australia, Canada and New Zealand and 1,500 or more in Germany, the U.K. and U.S. Read the report.