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Why patients leave hospitals with a bad taste in their mouth

Pacific Standard, October 17, 2012

Disrespect, Lucian Leape believes, is the elephant in the hospital. According to the adjunct professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, disrespect is the reason why so many patients leave the E.R. feeling belittled or ignored. It's why medical workers feel so "demoralized." And it's why—despite attempts at change in the last decade—we still see medical errors that cause needless suffering and even cost lives. Thirteen years ago, the Institute of Medicine released a groundbreaking report titled "To Err is Human" that called for a new paradigm in the medical field. But even as we've made important strides studies still show that somewhere around 15 percent of patients suffer treatment-related complications, about half of which are preventable.