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Diabetics who ‘hospital shop’ face higher mortality rate

Diabetics who ‘hospital shop’ face higher mortality rate

Posted February. 01, 2019 07:42,   

Updated February. 01, 2019 07:42


A research result revealed that diabetic patients who move from one hospital to another are likely to have higher mortality rate than those who go to one hospital for a long time. This means the so-called "medical shopping" leads to overlapping prescription and drops the continuity of the treatment, which in turn harms the health of patients.

Patients who have died from diabetes visited an average of 19.2 medical institutions while patients who have survived visited an average of 13.4 medical institutions, according to a research team led by preventive medicine professor Park Eun-cheol at Yonsei University College of Medicine and public health administration professor Kim Jae-hyeon at Dankook University on Thursday. That is, diseased patients visited 5.8 more hospitals than those who have survived.

The research team calculated that the mortality rate increased by an average of 1 percent on every medical institution a diabetic patient visit. If a patient visited 5.8 more medical institutions, the mortality rate increases by some 6 percent. This research is the result of a follow-up study on medical records of 55,558 diabetic patients registered at the National Health Insurance Corporation from 2002 to 2013. Among them, 9,313 patients, which 16.8 percent of this figure, died.

The research team explained that "medical shopping," which means patients move from one hospital to another, interferes with the continuity of the treatment. “If patients with chronic disease such diabetes keep on looking for new hospitals, the risk of overlapping prescription increases along with medical expenses,” said Professor Park. “Patients need to be cautious about the side effects of medical shopping.”

Sung-Min Park min@donga.com