Survey: Almost 20% of Massachusetts residents encountered a medical error in last 5 years

In a survey of more than 5,000 residents of Massachusetts, 19.4 percent — nearly 1 in 5 — reported that a medical error occurred in their own healthcare or in the care of a family member, according to a report released Wednesday by the Center for Health Information and Analysis.

The CHIA has conducted the Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey biennially since 2015 to create a report on state residents' experiences obtaining and utilizing healthcare. The most recent report is the result of a phone survey of 5,001 residents conducted between April and June. For the first time, the survey contained questions on medical errors.

Among those who reported encountering medical errors in the last five years, 24.9 percent experienced the error themselves, 29.1 percent reported the error among another household member, and 54.0 percent reported the error among extended family not living in the same household. A majority of respondents who reported a medical error — 57.6 percent — said the error resulted in serious health consequences, while 29.1 percent reported minor health consequences and 13.2 percent reported no health consequences.

To view the full report, click here.

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