Various efforts fail to improve quality of outpatient care: study

Various efforts fail to improve quality of outpatient care: study

Various local, regional and national efforts to improve quality of outpatient care across the United States have failed to show desired results, a fresh analysis of available stats indicated.

A team of researchers led by Dr. David Levine of Brigham & Women's Hospital and Boston-based Harvard Medical School analyzed survey data from a national sample of patients, hospitals, clinicians, pharmacists and employers.

The survey data gathered from 2002 to 2013 included nearly 21,000 to 27,000 people annually. The researchers concluded that persistent deficits in care continued to pose a serious threat to the health of the American public.

For instance, 25 per cent of eligible people didn't receive recommended cancer screening. Nearly half of patients who sought care against a viral disease were prescribed antibiotics, which were not able to fight viral infections. Situations in places like mammography even worsened.

Releasing the report, Dr. David said, "That didn't change at all over 10 years and, in fact, got worse in places like mammography and cervical cancer screening."

The study also explained that overuse of antibiotics exposes the patient to pointless cost, potential side effects and augmented dominance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The findings were reported online in the Oct. 17th edition of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.