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People concerned about burnout among health care professionals, survey shows

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Bethesda, MD — About three-quarters of U.S. adults say burnout among health care professionals is a concern and fear that it compromises their own safety and the level of care they receive, according to the results of a recent Harris Poll survey commissioned by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Researchers surveyed more than 2,000 Americans 18 and older in May. Of those, 74% indicated that the issue of physician burnout is concerning, while 77% said they feared it affecting their own health. Additionally, 47% reported they would avoid asking questions if they thought a health care professional was feeling burnt out in an effort to curb additional stress. Overall, 91% of the respondents said it is important that health care professionals avoid burnout.

A report released in January by the Harvard Global Health Institute calls physician burnout a “public health crisis,” citing existing research, including the 2018 Survey of America’s Physicians Practice Patterns and Perspective, which found that 78% of respondents experienced symptoms of professional burnout.

 

ASHP offers several recommendations to health care employers to mitigate the risks of burnout, including:

  • Identify the presence and risk of work-related burnout and recognize risk factors.
  • Form a committee to explore burnout causes and resilience solutions.
  • Evaluate changes to monitor improved employee resilience.
  • Celebrate and share improvements.

“A healthy and thriving clinician workforce is essential to ensure optimal patient health outcomes and safety,” ASHP CEO Paul Abramowitz said in a June 17 press release. “Within the health care industry, we are working to help build a culture of resilience and well-being to ensure that no patient or clinician is harmed due to burnout, but it takes a concerted effort from all entities involved.”

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