Startling news about the number of hospital-based errors leading to preventable deaths was recently splashed across the news. The National Institute of Medicine reported that up to 98 thousand people die each year in the U.S. as the result of preventable hospital-based medical errors.
How did the Institute of Medicine learn about the magnitude of this problem and how will hospitals and other providers devise effective solutions? The answer is through careful medical research, using very large data bases, so that patterns can be found that are valid for very large populations. Using anonymous data, researchers study claims or hospital records to uncover patterns and find areas for improvement.
- Improved safety
- New and enhanced health management programs
- New benefits
- Reduced medical costs
The GIC's recently enhanced mental health parity benefit - expanding mental health coverage across all plans to equal other medical benefits - is a prime example of some of the payoffs of research. Our plans' Coronary Artery Disease and UniCare's diabetes management programs also came about as the result of research. These initiatives have improved enrollees' quality of life.
The bottom line - legitimate medical research that protects individuals' privacy is paramount to everyone's health.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.