Can physician burnout increase patient safety incidents? 3 research insights

New research published in JAMA Internal Medicine examined whether physician burnout is associated with an increased risk of patient safety incidents, as well as lower levels of professionalism and patient satisfaction.

The researchers examined MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycInfo and CINAHL databases for studies covering physician burnout and patient care. The researchers included 47 studies covering 42,473 physicians in their meta-analysis.

Here are the key research insights to know:

1. Physician burnout is associated with an increased risk of patient safety incidents, lower quality of care due to decreased professionalism and lower patient satisfaction.

2. Residents and early career physicians had a larger link between burnout and low professionalism than late-career physicians.

3. "This meta-analysis provides evidence that physician burnout may jeopardize patient care; reversal of this risk has to be viewed as a fundamental healthcare policy goal across the globe. Health care organizations are encouraged to invest in efforts to improve physician wellness, particularly for early-career physicians," the researchers concluded.

Click here to read the full study.

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