QUALITY: Want to avoid medical errors? Pick a profitable hospital

Just found this gem.  Apparently an AHRQ study looked at the rate of medical errors in Florida hospitals and discovered that the more profitable hospitals (situated in general in areas where there were wealthier patients of course) had fewer medical errors. Intuitively this makes sense.  While any hospital can make a screw-up, such as washing surgical instruments in used elevator oil (yup really happened at Duke — read this), in general medical errors are a symptom of incomplete process engineering, and the more successful companies in any field, which also tend to be the richest, are likely to run better — or at least closer to a specified process. Of course part of that process is having the money for the systems and the people to put that process in place.

So another good reason to choose your income level, (and by extension that of your parents) carefully.

I’ll have much more tomorrow on Krugman’s entry into the single-payer fray.  But you’ll all be busy on the "Michael Jackson gets off on little boy(‘s charges)" headlines.

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  1. Evidently most hospitals and clinics err in diagnosing. Caffeine allergy is being diagnosed as ADHD and mental illness. Psychiatric patients have abnormal blood test results, and many doctors ignore them, treating patients for mental illness instead.