The U.S. health care system does a poor job providing efficient access to quality care compared with health systems in six other industrialized countries, according to a recent survey.
The report, released in June by the Commonwealth Fund, said the United States scored low in measures of quality, efficiency, access, equity of care and ability of people to lead healthy and productive lives.
"It's disappointing, but not surprising that despite our significant investment, the U.S. continues to lag behind," Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis, PhD, said in a national teleconference on the report.
The U.S. spends more on health care -- $7,290 per capita in 2007 -- than do any of the other countries studied. By comparison, the Netherlands ranked highest for care and spent $3,837 per capita.
"We simply are not getting commensurate care for the amount we are spending on health care," Davis said.
Also ranked in the annual report were Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand an ...
Pill bottles that electronically alert patients to take their medications show promise for increasing compliance, according to research from the Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners Healthcare in Boston.
A randomized controlled study of patients who used electronic pill bottles wirelessly connected to the Internet found a 27 percentage point higher rate of medication compliance compared with patients who didn't use the electronic bottles.
The bottles, called GlowCaps and produced by Cambridge, Mass.-based Vitality, alert patients with light and sound when it's time to take their medicine. The bottles also generate missed-dose reminder phone calls and refill reminders. Automated progress reports also are sent to the patients' physicians, family or caregivers.
For the study, 139 patients on antihypertensive medication were enrolled in a six-month program. They were divided into three groups: a control group that did not receive any communication; an intervention g ...