Only 45% of Patients Believe to Be in Charge of Their Health
The PSMF (Patient Safety Movement Foundation), a global non-profit organization dedicated to achieving zero preventable patient suffering and death worldwide by 2030, has announced the results of its “2021 Patient Safety Awareness Poll,” which showed that people felt less in charge of their health and that there is still a long way to go in terms of medical error education.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, drawing attention to healthcare performance, access, and resource usage. Unfortunately, it took the devastating impact of a global pandemic to wake us up to the truth of our flawed healthcare system, which was created without foundation for safety, reliability, and person-centeredness along the continuum.
ClearPath Strategies performed the survey in March 2021. It included 1,725 people from six countries: India, the Philippines, Australia, South Africa, the UK, and the USA.
The survey looked at the public’s perceptions of patient safety and preventable medical harm. Some of the findings include that 53.2% of people know the meaning of “medical error,” and only 37% can adequately define it.
Because 87.3% of the respondents have heard little or nothing about medical errors or patient harm in their local area, it’s clear that there’s still a lot of work to be done to raise awareness about this global issue.
Moreover, medical errors worry 58% of the public, especially outside high-income areas, during “every visit” or “sometimes.” Only 45.9% of the population believes they have control over their health, which is 31% lower than 2020.
When asked about their main concerns, 50.9% expressed concern about out-of-pocket costs, 44% expressed concern about receiving poorer healthcare due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and 34.3% expressed concern about access to high-quality care.
The public largely favored releasing more public information about this issue, with 82.4% preferring a greater focus on patient safety.
The Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s CEO, David B. Mayer, MD, stated that the public should be informed and confident in the treatment they are receiving and that the findings show that there is still room for improvement.
Photo by CDC on Unsplash