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Health Aff (Millwood). 2005 Jul-Dec;Suppl Web Exclusives:W5-509-25.

Taking the pulse of health care systems: experiences of patients with health problems in six countries.

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  • 1Commonwealth Fund, New York City, USA.


This paper reports on a 2005 survey of sicker adults in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Sizable shares of patients in all six countries report safety risks, poor care coordination, and deficiencies in care for chronic conditions. Majorities in all countries report that mistakes occurred outside the hospital. The United States often stands out for inefficient care and errors and is an outlier on access/cost barriers. Yet no country consistently leads or lags across survey domains. Deficiencies in transition care during hospital discharge and coordination failures among patients seeing multiple physicians underscore shared challenges of improving performance across sites of care.

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