Jeopardizing patient safety in ambulatory settings: Clinician stress, burnout

The American College of Physicians found clinician burnout and stress may hinder the ability to improve patient safety in ambulatory settings, according to MedPage Today.

When physicians are emotionally exhausted, this may impact their cognitive and physical ability when performing an array of tasks. Additionally, the ACP policy paper states exhaustion can lessen their "ability to attend to details and process highly technical information; mental detachment and deficiencies in personal accomplishment may cause individuals to neglect duties or complete seemingly minor but crucial patient safety activities."

The ACP supported the National Patient Safety Foundation's recommendations for improving patient safety, including enhancing working conditions, improving staff resiliency and implementing programs focused on fatigue management, communication, apology and resolution.

Providers in ambulatory settings can also:
•    Create a culture of patient safety
•    Educate a patient and their family on asking the right questions
•    Create team-based models to improve patient safety

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