How Providers First Did More Harm This Week
Problems in dialysis quality were also highlighted in a series of investigative stories published this week by ProPublica, which promises to post center-specific quality data that may provoke long-overdue improvements in care for end-stage renal disease patients, and a more thorough examination of why disparities exist.
The third example of how hospitals ended up doing more harm than good involves a report showing major geographic variation throughout the country in the frequency with which physicians prescribe potentially harmful medications to patients age 65 and older.
Yuting Zhang and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health looked at 306 Dartmouth Atlas referral regions in the U.S. as they were in 2007. The maps show five levels of frequency of dangerous drug prescribing practices for two types of prescription pitfalls:
- prescribing drugs that are potentially dangerous for seniors in general, and
- prescribing drugs that have potentially harmful drug disease interactions.
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