Burnout is a serious problem for clinicians as well as the patients who rely on them for safe care, and the challenge has only been compounded by the stresses and trauma of the pandemic.
A recent study by Pearl et al. showed that healthcare administrators could use a single survey item to see how their clinicians are doing. The question it asked was, “Are there individuals at your work location who are so burned out that the quality or safety of research, clinical care, or other important work product is impacted?” The respondents’ perception of the impact of burnout on quality safety of healthcare was self-reported using a 5-point system, ranging from 1 (“no burnout or it doesn’t impact safety and quality”) to 5 (“a serious impact on quality and safety”).
This nonproprietary, single-item burnout-impacting safety scale showed a sensitivity of 82% using 4 on the scale as a cutoff (“there is quite a bit of impact of burnout on safety and quality”), indicating this tool may be effective in helping determine what healthcare providers may be at high risk for safety events affecting patients.