Survey: Majority of Americans concerned about healthcare worker burnout

The issue of healthcare professional burnout is a major concern for 74% of Americans, according to a new survey released by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

The survey, conducted online in May by The Harris Poll on behalf of ASHP, polled 2,000 U.S. adults. It found that 91% of respondents feel it is important that their physician, pharmacist, nurse, or other healthcare professional should do whatever is necessary to avoid burnout. Another 77% said that when they notice their clinician feeling burned out, they become concerned about their own care and safety.

Patients are aware of healthcare professional burnout, with 47% saying they would avoid asking questions if they thought their care provider appeared burned out so as not to add to the provider’s stress.

A recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine looked at the monetary cost of physician burnout. It estimates that burnout costs organizations $7,600 per employed physician per year. These costs factor in reduced clinical hours and physician turnover.

“We must assess the association of physician well-being with quality, patient satisfaction, medication errors and other patient safety outcomes linked to physician well-being as we further study the economic and human impact of physician burnout,” Edward M. Ellison, MD, co-CEO of the Permanente Federation and Southern California Permanente Medical Group, wrote in an editorial accompanying the study. 

Source: ASHP and AMA

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