Patients in Arizona hospitals may have more to be concerned about when their doctors are burned out on the job. Unfortunately, a national survey suggests that over half of practicing physicians in American are burned out. One study of almost 6,700 doctors at clinics and hospitals found that these burned-out doctors are more likely to make medical errors when treating their patients. The study looked at workplace burnout, fatigue and depression among medical professionals and how these issues might affect treatment and workplace safety.
Over 10 percent of the survey participants said that they were involved in at least one medical error in the previous three months, and those who were also found to suffer from burnout were two times as likely to make significant medical mistakes. The study's authors defined burnout as a work-related condition that can make people less effective in their jobs. While people in any type of job can suffer from burnout, high-stress professions tend to experience it more frequently. The survey also found that the most common medical mistakes involved misdiagnosis, technical errors and drug prescription mistakes.
Across the country, medical mistakes are responsible for roughly 100,000 to 200,000 patient deaths each year. Meanwhile, up to 50 percent of American doctors are considered to be experiencing professional burnout at any given time. Workplace safety is also a concern, and 4 percent of doctors claim that their workplaces had a poor record. While much less common than burnout, unsafe workplaces quadrupled the risk of medical mistakes.
When patients experience the results of serious doctor errors, the consequences can be devastating and life-altering. Patients who have suffered a worsened medical condition due to a doctor's mistake can consult with a medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer can review the case and provide guidance about seeking compensation.