A February 1, 2017 Forbes article examines the burnout epidemic affecting 95 percent of all businesses. They state it reaching crisis and epidemic proportions
According to a study in the Employee Engagement Series conducted by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace, 95 percent of human resource leaders say that employee burnout is sabotaging their workforce. and that nearly half of HR leaders attribute up to half of their employee turnover to employee burnout.
The study found that unfair compensation (41 percent), an unreasonable workload (32 percent) and too much overtime / after-hours work (32 percent) are the top three contributors to employee burnout.
The Kronos study did find that several factors under employer control affected burnout including: poor management (30 percent), employees seeing no clear connection between their role and corporate strategy (29 percent), and a negative workplace culture (26 percent).
So maybe a another way of studying burnout should be to look at a turnover score. Since over 50% of emergency physicians are employed and even if they are not, hospitals control much of their workplace decisions, perhaps we need to measure hospitals’ turnover scores to put pressure on hospitals to improve working conditions. Clearly, based on other data, pressure to improve working conditions and lower turnover may likely result in less burnout, better patient care, and even possibly lower expenses.
A June 2017 study in Hospital Pediatrics looked at how often pediatric nurses “miss care” and found that nurses in poor work environments have significantly more patient care issues.
In regression models that controlled for nurse, nursing unit, and hospital characteristics, the odds that a nurse missed care were 40% lower in better environments and increased by 70% for each additional patient.
Turnover of hospital employees is common and ShiftHound cites a 2012 study that reported a 28 percent turnover rate in healthcare jobs. Nursing Solutions, Inc. found turnover among first-year allied health professionals and nurses exceeds other professions and may be as high as a 68 percent rate for two-year turnover.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that turnover is also expensive and they concluded that employee turnover costs companies as much as 20 percent of annual pay.
As patient safety should be of primary concern and physician and nurse burnout are at epidemic proportions and the quality of care is related to satisfaction and satisfaction appears to be significantly related to turnover, perhaps hospitals should be rated on hospital turnover. This might put appropriate pressure on hospitals to assist in creating a meaningful environment to improve working conditions and in turn decrease physician burnout and improve patient care. It might be good business as well.