Self-reported Medical, Medication and Laboratory Error in Eight Countries

Andrea Scobie


Int J Qual Health Care. 2011;23(2):182-186. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Objective. To identify risk factors associated with self-reported medical, medication and laboratory error in eight countries.
Design. The Commonwealth Fund's 2008 International Health Policy Survey of chronically ill patients in eight countries.
Intervention. None.
Setting and Participants. A multi-country telephone survey was conducted between 3 March and 30 May 2008 with patients in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK and the USA who self-reported being chronically ill.
Main Outcome Measure. A bivariate analysis was performed to determine significant explanatory variables of medical, medication and laboratory error (P < 0.01) for inclusion in a binary logistic regression model.
Results. The final regression model included eight risk factors for self-reported error: age 65 and under, education level of some college or less, presence of two or more chronic conditions, high prescription drug use (four+ drugs), four or more doctors seen within 2 years, a care coordination problem, poor doctor–patient communication and use of an emergency department.
Conclusion. Risk factors with the greatest ability to predict experiencing an error encompassed issues with coordination of care and provider knowledge of a patient's medical history. The identification of these risk factors could help policymakers and organizations to proactively reduce the likelihood of error through greater examination of system- and organization-level practices.


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