We recently discussed the risks associated with sleep deprived physicians performing operations on unsuspecting patients. Yesterday the L.A. Times continued that examination of patient safety with a look at a similar problem plaguing many physicians: burnout.
The magazine Anesthesiology published two separate studies on medical burnout in its latest edition. The first involved a survey conduct by the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine of an entire perioperative unit-all professionals who work with a patient before and after surgery. The results clearly indicated that those professionals who had heavier workloads were more at risk of burnout.
Similarly researchers at Northwestern’s School of Medicine conducted surveys that found older physicians were also at a higher risk. These senior doctors-many of them chairs of the department-were highly likely to suffer the identified criteria for high or moderate burnout.
While research is still being conducted connecting the burnout to patient safety, it is clear that nothing good comes out of the overwork and exhaustion of so many medical professionals. A New England Journal of Medicine report from last month did make the connection, finding that burnout led to more medical mistakes. One doctor involved in the research explains that “burnout is also associated with malpractice suits and turnover which can create substantial cost to hospitals and practice groups.”
Our Chicago malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti are committed to protecting the legal rights of all patients who receive improper medical care. Whether the mistakes are caused by inadequate sleep, burnout, incompetence, or any other factor, it is vital that all doctors ensure they are capable of providing the required care before they begin treating a patient. If a doctor has ever failed you in this regard please contact a malpractice attorney today.
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