4839.0 - Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/11/2012   
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HARM AND HARMFUL SIDE-EFFECTS

This chapter provides information about harm or harmful side-effects experienced by people in the past year. Respondents were asked whether they had experienced harm or harmful side-effects from any medication, medical care, treatment or test in that time, and if so:

    • where they had the medication, medical care, treatment or test that caused the harm or harmful side-effects
    • whether they received information beforehand of the possible risk of harm or harmful side-effects
    • whether they received an explanation of their most recent harm or harmful side-effect
    • whether they understood the explanation provided
    • whether they sought treatment from a health professional
    • how satisfied they were with the way the situation was handled by the health professional for the most recent incident.
In 2011–12, 4% of people aged 15 years and over had experienced harm or harmful side-effects from medication, medical care, treatment or a test. This represented a slight decline since when this information was last collected in 2009 (5%). Nationally, around three-quarters (77%) of those who experienced harm or a harmful side-effect saw a health professional regarding their most recent harm or harmful side-effect. (Tables 1 and 22)

Of the people who had seen a health professional for their most recent experience of harm or harmful side-effects, four out of five were either satisfied or very satisfied with the way the situation was handled (81%). (Table 22)

Across Australia, 61% of people aged 15 years and over who experienced harm or harmful side-effects had been informed of the risk that harm or a harmful side-effect might occur. Slightly more males (65%) than females (59%) had been informed of the risk. (Table 22)