Jul 22, 2019 | Updated: 09:15 AM EDT

Burnout among Healthcare Professionals a Source of Concern for Three-Quarters of Americans

Jun 18, 2019 05:19 PM EDT

Burnout among Healthcare Professionals a Source of Concern for Three-Quarters of Americans
(Photo : Image by Pexels from Pixabay)

In a recent survey data released by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, ASHP, almost three-quarter of Americans, about 74 percent, are concerned about burnout among healthcare professionals. The findings of this research take a cue from a 2018 study in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (AJHP) that discovered 53 percent of pharmacists self-reported a high degree of burnout caused by increasing stresses and demands.

Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP, the ASHP CEO, said that pharmacists, as patient care providers and members of the healthcare team, strive to provide the best quality of care to their patients. But with chronic job stressor, many clinicians are experiencing symptoms of burnout. Abramowitz explained that they believe that fostering and sustaining the wellbeing and resiliency of the pharmacy workforce is in the best interest of patients and the healthcare systems as a whole. ASHP has had a longstanding commitment to working with their members and their patients and colleagues to raise awareness and advance solutions to help prevent burnout in healthcare.

In May 2019, the Harris Poll conducted the survey on behalf of ASHP and it drew on the opinions of more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and up and demonstrated a high degree of public awareness that burnout among pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and other professionals can lead to impaired attention and decreased functioning that threatens to cause medical errors and reduce safety. In another new study, the Mayo Clinic conducted in Rochester, Minn., discovered that burnout costs the U.S. healthcare system an estimated $4.6 billion a year.

In the new survey, one in four said they believe hospital pharmacists (26 percent) and retail pharmacists (25 percent) are most times burn out. The definition of clinician burnout by the National Academy of Medicine includes clinicians feeling emotionally exhausted, unsatisfied, and detached from one's work, and a low sense of personal accomplishment. In the AJHP study, pharmacists list increased workloads, periodic drug shortages, and heavy demands from electronic health records, insurance, and regulatory requirements as drivers of burnout.

Most Americans encourage healthcare professionals to take care of themselves. In the Harris Poll, 9 out of 10, 91 percent, said it is essential that their doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or other healthcare professional do whatever they can to avoid burnout, and 77 percent said that when they see their clinician is feeling burnout, they become concerned about their care and safety.

Almost half of the adult in American said they would avoid asking the question if they thought their healthcare professional appeared burnt out because they would not want to add to their stress. Also, the study suggests that healthcare professionals may be conveying signs of burnout without knowing it. 

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