When I started the challenge, I didn’t consider the Thanksgiving holiday or relocating. Rather than stress myself to meet a self-imposed challenge, I will take a hiatus and restart next week with part 2 of the racial breakdown of medical errors.
In part 1, I began reviewing the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care (NAHMCS) data tables. The average patient had over six visits to the emergency department within four weeks. Black patients utilized the emergency department more than any racial group in the survey. There is more in what is absent from the data. Part 2 will continue the review of the 2018 NAHMCS data tables.
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death, and it’s not tracked in the NAHMCS data. The addition of return visits to the survey would provide demographic information about medical errors that could reduce maternal mortality rates in Black women and other racial disparities in healthcare.
Return visits make money for hospitals. Health insurance, including Medicare, will pay whatever the outcome. As perverse as it sounds, that incentivizes hospitals to do harm or conceal recurrent patterns of behavior that cause harm to vulnerable groups and Black patients.
It’s the same mentality as police departments profit from arrests and towns profit too. Prisons grew into an industrial complex. I could go on. Covid provided a perfect cover for even more sinister acts of harm by hospital staff.
Not all hospitals are dangerous. However, enough hospitals have targeted Black children, men, and women to urge caution. Again, we see it in maternal mortality rates of Black women in the USA, where Black women die from pregnancy complications at 3 to 4 times the rate of white women.
We should be vigilant in hospitals and avoid them at all costs. Black patients are not safe in hospitals.
These are my thoughts based on the NAHMCS data.