August 15, 2018

Medical errors may stem more from physician burnout than unsafe health care settings

Medical errors may stem more from physician burnout than unsafe health care settings

This article appeared first here.

“The epidemic of physician burnout may be the source of even more medical errors than unsafe medical workplace conditions, a new study led by Stanford researchers has found.

Physician burnout is at least equally responsible for medical errors as unsafe medical workplace conditions, if not more so, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

“If we are trying to maximize the safety and quality of medical care, we must address the factors in the work environment that lead to burnout among our health care providers,” said Tait Shanafelt, MD, director of the Stanford WellMD Center and associate dean of the School of Medicine. “Many system-level changes have been implemented to improve safety for patients in our medical workplaces. What we find in this study is that physician burnout levels appear to be equally, if not more, important than the work unit safety score to the risk of medical errors occurring.”

The study was published online July 9 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Shanafelt, who is also a professor of hematology and the Jeanie and Stew Ritchie Professor, is the senior author. Daniel Tawfik, MD, an instructor in pediatric critical care medicine at Stanford, is the lead author.

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Read the full article here.