Consensus report shows burnout prevalent in health care community

October 23, 2019

Clinician burnout is affecting between one-third and one-half of all of U.S. nurses and physicians, and 45 to 60% of medical students and residents, according to a National Academy of Medicine (NAM) report released today.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is among 32 institutions and foundations that sponsored the 296-page report, "Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being," which investigates the causes of widespread clinician burnout and offers solutions to address the problem at its source.

"There's an all too direct connection between clinician burnout and health care safety and quality. While clinician burnout isn't a new problem, its worsening prevalence and impact are due to system factors inherent in the modern health care system," said Matthew Weinger, MD, professor of Anesthesiology and Norman Ty Smith Chair in Patient Safety and Medical Simulation at VUMC, and a member of the NAM authoring committee for the new report.

"The Committee came to realize that addressing clinician burnout will require a deliberate and substantive health care system redesign with a focus on those activities that deliver the most value to patients while enabling and empowering clinicians to deliver high-quality care," he said.

The report discusses key issues that need to be addressed:The report concludes with goals and recommendations centered on creating more positive work and learning environments, reducing administrative burden, enabling technology solutions, providing more support to clinicians and learners, and investing in research to address clinician burnout.
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The new report is the latest in a series that includes the landmark volumes, "To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System" (2000) and "Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century" (2001).

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

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