Physician burnout is at least as dangerous as unsafe workplace conditions when it comes to medical errors, according to a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. In fact, it indicates that physicians with burnout are more than twice as likely to self-report a medical error compared with those without burnout. The potential consequences of that are dramatic; existing data show that med errors are a factor in as many as 200,000 deaths annually in the U.S. In this new study, 55% of respondents admit to experiencing symptoms of burnout; 10% admitted to at least one major medical error during the prior 3 months. Looking at the data from a broader perspective, the authors noted that rates of medical errors actually tripled in medical work units if physicians working on that unit had high levels of burnout. Burnout can have severe effects on the physicians who experience it as well, of course. To learn more about its effects in your urgent care center—and preventive measures you can take—read Recognizing and Preventing Provider Burnout in Urgent Care in the JUCM archives.
Data Paint an Ugly Picture of the Consequences of Provider Burnout