Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One in Ten Surgeons Believe They Made a "Major Error" Recently

A study published in the Annals of Surgery shows that one in ten surgeons believe that they made a major medical error in the past three months.

The survey showed that surgeons experiencing burnout as a result of exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal career dissatisfaction were more likely to report an error. 40 percent of respondents said that they were experiencing "burnout," and 30 percent reported experiencing symptoms of depression. The study did conclude whether the burnout was a result of the errors, or if the errors were a result of the burnout.

The results reflect the feedback of 7,905 surgeons who completed a survey by the American College of Surgeons.

If it turns out that burnout is a link to medical error, then it looks like hospitals will have to figure out ways to boost physician morale as a way to maintain patient safety.

Source: Wall Street Journal Health Blog

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