Study: Cost of healthcare tops Americans' hospital concerns

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Forty-one percent of Americans say their greatest hospital healthcare concern is cost, while 25 percent cite quality of care.

The findings come from a new survey commissioned by Siemens Medical Solutions USA Inc. of more than 2,000 Americans who were either hospitalized or responsible for assisting in the admittance of another person to the hospital within the last five years.

The survey also found that 43 percent of respondents blame medical errors on overworked staff or staff shortages. Three in 10 of those surveyed cite lack of communication amongst hospital departments as the second largest cause of medical errors.

Sixty-three percent of survey respondents agreed it would be "very valuable" to have their complete medical history stored electronically in one computer file that can be accessed anywhere in a hospital. Among other information technology solutions, Siemens currently offers electronic health record (EHR) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems that provide caregivers with timely, accurate decision-making abilities that can have life-saving implications.

Although consumers want to see EHRs implemented, nearly 58 percent of those surveyed are concerned about the privacy of their medical records.