Hospital patients who are treated with respect by staff are less likely to experience a preventable medical error, according to a study conducted by Consumer Reports.
About a quarter of the 1,200 patients who responded to the Consumer Reports survey felt hospital staff did not treat them as adults who were involved in their own care. A third of patients felt their wishes for treatments were not respected, with a similar number reporting that hospital staff would interrupt them. Around 20% said they were not treated fairly and experienced discrimination.
Overall, patients who were unhappy with how they were treated at the hospital were two and a half times more likely to experience some sort of preventable error, such as a drug error, rehospitalization, or a hospital-acquired disease than those who were happy with their treatment. Around 440,000 deaths are attributed to medical errors every year.
“We encourage patients to speak up when they feel that their wishes are not being heard. This survey validates that doing so might actually save your life,” Lisa McGiffert, manager of Consumer Reports’ Safe Patient Project, said in a written statement.
The full report, “How Not to Get Sick(er) in the Hospital,” which includes ratings of almost 2,600 U.S. hospitals, is featured in the February 2015 issue of Consumer Reports, and at ConsumerReports.org.