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Study indicates many medical mistakes might stem from burnout

Pennsylvania residents who seek medical care for any reason have the right to expect that they will be given the proper treatment, the correct medications and not be subject to mistakes on the part of medical professionals. Unfortunately, medical errors are common and they can cause serious injury and even death to victims. While there are many reasons why there might be a medical error, a new study from Stanford University indicates that a major issue is physician “burnout.” Those who have been injured or lost a loved one in what they believe to have been a medical mistake should pay attention to this issue, as it could be relevant in a legal filing for compensation.

According to the research, the number of medical errors due to burnout could be equal to or worse than those from dangerous workplace conditions. The work environment and its potential for causing burnout in medical professionals is an issue that should be addressed, according to the researchers. Although steps are taken to make patients safer and less vulnerable to fundamental factors, burnout is just as problematic.

Since medical errors can cause as many as 200,000 deaths annually, there has not been significant research into how burnout can impact patient safety. A survey of physicians across the nation indicated that 55 percent of the respondents indicated that they experienced burnout. There were just shy of 6,700 who took part. 10 percent stated they made a minimum of one major error in the previous three months. Physicians who showed signs of burnout were twice as likely to make a self-reported mistake.

Other studies have shown that the number of physicians who are exhausted, cynical or do not feel as if they are having the desired effect is a growing danger to patients, as the level of care they receive is directly affected by it. Most medical facilities have yet to take action on strategies to reduce burnout.

For people who believe they have been damaged by a medical mistake, it can lead to an increase in medical expenses, lost time on the job and conditions and injuries that can last a lifetime. People who have lost a loved one will be without a key member of their family and have other concerns that must be addressed. A law firm that understands all areas of medical malpractice may be able to help with investigating the case to determine how and why it happened and take the necessary steps to file a lawsuit.