It may surprise some to know that doctor burnout is actually a much bigger factor in medical errors than even unsafe conditions. According to a new study conducted by researchers at Stanford, doctor burnout is a national medical epidemic that severely impacts patient safety. In fact, since 2013, the amount of medical malpractice claims paid in Georgia has risen consistently.
In a recent study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers surveyed more than 3,500 physicians, and found that as many as 55 percent of the physicians reported symptoms of burnout. Ten percent of the doctors also reported making at least one major medical error in the previous three months. Upon analysis, the Stanford researchers found that doctors who suffered from burnout had more than twice the level of self-reported errors, compared to doctors who did not report burnout.
Even more interesting was the finding that doctors in high-performing units that had a very highly-rated work environment reported a level of errors nearly three times as high as those compared to other doctors. This indicates that doctor stress is an even greater medical error risk than unsafe conditions.