Presenters Offer Strategies on Reducing Provider and Staff Burnout, Facilitating Positive Emotions

December 21, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​"Burnout, at its core, is the impaired ability to experience positive emotions," said J. Bryan Sexton, PhD, associate professor and director of the Duke University Health System Patient Safety Center (Durham, North Carolina). In addition to emotional and health consequences for the provider or staff member experiencing the problem, burnout affects patient care; research indicates that burnout is associated with reduced patient satisfaction, increased risk of medication errors, increased risk of infections, and higher standardized mortality ratios. At the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, held December 9 to 12, 2018, in Orlando, Florida, Sexton and his colleagues discussed the causes of burnout in clinical settings, recent research on the issue, and tools that can help providers and staff manage feelings of burnout, emotional exhaustion, and cynicism. "A structured approach is essential for safer care and enhanced resilience," said Michael Leonard, MD, principal, Safe & Reliable Healthcare. "This is very simply a culture of safety."

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