Too busy to notice the obvious

Many times the keys to solving health problems involve understanding the social circumstances of the patients: their finances, social responsibilities, what kind of work they do, etc. This article is about a study where the “patients” provided important information directly to the M.D.s and then researchers analyzed whether the doctors actually took the information into account. The results are discouraging. “errors occurred in 78 percent of cases when socioeconomic concerns were a significant factor”

The excerpt below is from the LA Times by Judith Graham

…The experience at a Chicago hospital several years ago inspired Weiner to study what he calls “contextual errors,” or the failure by doctors to consider an individual’s social or economic circumstances when diagnosing illness or prescribing treatment.

Weiner arranged to send actors playing patients into physicians’ offices and discovered that errors occurred in 78 percent of cases when socioeconomic concerns were a significant factor, according to a paper published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine

much more via ‘Mystery Patients’ Uncover Medical Errors-latimes

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