Health-care system causing rampant burnout among doctors, nurses
As many as half of all clinicians suffer from the problem, creating risks to patients, malpractice claims and absenteeism, study finds.
Imagine a health-care system in which doctors and nurses are so exhausted and beaten down that many of them work like zombies — error-prone, apathetic toward patients and at times trying to blunt their own pain with alcohol or even suicide attempts.
That is what America’s broken health care system is doing to its health workers, according to a 312-page report released Wednesday by the National Academy of Medicine, one of the country’s most prestigious medical institutions.
The report found that as many as half of the country’s doctors and nurses experience substantial symptoms of burnout, resulting in increased risks to patients, malpractice claims, worker absenteeism and turnover, as well as billions of dollars in losses to the medical industry each year.
“It’s a moral issue, a patient-care issue and a financial issue,” said Christine K. Cassel, professor of medicine at University of California at San Francisco, who co-chaired the committee of experts that wrote the report.