Study: Burnout Syndrome Seriously Affecting Critical Care Health Care Personnel

Burnout SyndromeThe role of medical transcription services in helping to ease the clinical documentation and administrative burden is widely acknowledged. Outsourcing companies that provide these services ensure that physician dictation is transcribed accurately and in custom turnaround time, thereby helping to enhance the quality of care. A new study indicates just how important it is for critical care health care professionals to have access to such support in order to avoid stress, burnout, and most important, errors in documentation.

Study: Burnout Syndrome Common in Critical Care Health Care Professionals

Science Daily recently reported on a new report by published by the Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC) on burnout syndrome in critical care health care professionals. Critical care is especially challenging, with high patient morbidity and mortality, challenging daily work routines, and regular encounters with traumatic and ethical issues. The aim of the study is to provide guidance to stakeholders on treating the condition and mitigating the problem.

Occupational burnout is defined as a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It is typically caused by a stressful lifestyle. People are put under extreme pressure when they develop doubts about their competence and the value of their work.

The study found that:

  • The rate of burnout syndrome is among the highest in critical care health care professionals, with nearly half of the workforce exhibiting symptoms
  • Pediatric critical care specialists were the worst affected with 71 percent experiencing burnout
  • About 25-33 percent of critical care nurses have severe symptoms of the condition, and up to 86 percent have at least one of the three typical symptoms
  • The high incidence of the condition in critical care professionals can be explained by the high-stress ICU environment
  • Burnout in nurses led to reduced quality of care, lower patient satisfaction, increased number of medical errors, higher rates of health care associated infections, and higher 30-day patient mortality rates

The authors also pointed out that work-related exhaustion in critical care health care professionals can result in posttraumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse and even suicidal tendencies.

Urgent Need to Find Solutions

The CCSC calls upon key stakeholder groups such as to help mitigate the development of burnout syndrome. Recommended strategies include interventions focused on enhancing the ICU environment and helping individuals cope with their environment.

In critical care, clinical documentation is crucial for good communication and to provide strong evidence of care which is an important professional and medico legal requirement. Medical transcription service companies play an important role in helping physicians and nurses manage this stressful task and cope with the environment in the ICU.

Julie Clements

About Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.