Friday, November 04, 2005

CMWF - Taking the Pulse of Health Care Systems

Experiences of Patients with Health Problems in Six Countries
Cathy Schoen, Robin Osborn, Phuong Trang Huynh, Michelle Doty, Kinga Zapert, Jordon Peugh, Karen Davis
Health Affairs Web Exclusive, November 3, 2005, W5-509–W5-525

A new Commonwealth Fund international survey report on health care access, safety, and care coordination in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.

The survey found no one nation best or worst overall on the measures studied. But the U.S. stood out for high error rates, inefficient care coordination, and high out-of-pocket costs that serve as barriers to access.

  • More than one of four patients in each country (28% to 32%) said risks were not completely explained during their hospital stay.
  • In all countries, sizable majorities of patients said physicians had not always reviewed all their medications during the past year, and one-third or more reported infrequent reviews.
  • Across countries, one-sixth to one-fourth of patients said physicians only sometimes, rarely, or never make goals of care and treatment clear or give them clear instructions.
  • Relative to the U.S. and Canada, the four countries reporting comparatively rapid access to physicians— Australia, Germany, New Zealand, and the U.K.—also had significantly lower rates of emergency room use.

Chartpack pdf[download] ppt [download]

Topline Results [download]

In the Literature [download]

Commonwealth Fund publication details

Press release