Bureaucracy tops causes of burnout among physicians
- Earlier this week, Medscape release a lifestyle report that focused on analyzing bias and burnout in physicians' personal lives.
- Burnout rates were reportedly higher than they were in the 2015 report and the main cause was bureaucratic tasks, the results show.
- While many in the hospital community have becoming increasingly concerned with physician burnout and have prioritized the problem, a definitive solution is yet to be found.
According to the surveys' ratings, physicians attributed to the main cause of their burnout to "too many bureaucratic tasks" at 4.8 out of a 7-point scale, "spending too many hours at work" at 4.1, and "increasing computerization of practice" at 4.0.
The highest average burnout rate (55%) occurred in critical care, urology and emergency medicine, the results show. The survey, which compared burnout between the years 2011 and 2014, showed an increased percentage of physicians reporting burnout, from 45.5% to 54.4%.
Medscape surveyed 15,800 physicians from more than 25 specialties. Burnout was described as a loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment.
“This issue is certainly a growing concern in the hospital community,” CMO and Senior Vice President at the American Hospital Association John Combes told Hospitals & Health Networks. “Many physicians are trying to get administrative tasks done, and that sacrifices time for patient interaction, a reason many physicians got into the field.”
Although some hospitals have taken some measures to address physician burnout, such as implementing wellness teams, there doesn't seem to be a quick fix to this problem. WebMD's Chief Medical Editor Michael Smith said,“Unfortunately, nobody has found that magic solution or particular programs that have been successful.”
“If we don’t see significant changes in what is causing burnouts, then we’re unlikely to see a change in rates and change in medical care,” Smith said.
- Medscape Medscape Lifestyle Report 2016: Bias and Burnout
- Medscape Medscape Lifestyle Report 2015
- Hospitals & Health Networks Physician Burnout Rates Increase across Specialities: Study
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