Physician and Nurse Well-Being and Preferred Interventions to Address Burnout in Hospital Practice: Factors Associated With Turnover, Outcomes, and Patient Safety.

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IMPORTANCE: Disruptions in the hospital clinical workforce threaten quality and safety of care and retention of health professionals. It is important to understand which interventions would be well received by clinicians to address the factors associated with turnover.

OBJECTIVES: To determine well-being and turnover rates of physicians and nurses in hospital practice, and to identify actionable factors associated with adverse clinician outcomes, patient safety, and clinicians' preferences for interventions.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This was a cross-sectional multicenter survey study conducted in 2021 with 21 050 physicians and nurses at 60 nationally distributed US Magnet hospitals. Respondents described their mental health and well-being, associations between modifiable work environment factors and physician and nurse burnout, mental health, hospital staff turnover, and patient safety. Data were analyzed from February 21, 2022, to March 28, 2023.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Clinician outcomes (burnout, job dissatisfaction, intent to leave, turnover), well-being (depression, anxiety, work-life balance, health), patient safety, resources and work environment adequacy, and clinicians' preferences for interventions to improve their well-being.

RESULTS: The study sample comprised responses from 15 738 nurses (mean [SD] age, 38.4 [11.7] years; 10 887 (69%) women; 8404 [53%] White individuals) practicing in 60 hospitals, and 5312 physicians (mean [SD] age, 44.7 [12.0] years; 2362 [45%] men; 2768 [52%] White individuals) practicing in 53 of the same hospitals, with an average of 100 physicians and 262 nurses per hospital and an overall clinician response rate of 26%. High burnout was common among hospital physicians (32%) and nurses (47%). Nurse burnout was associated with higher turnover of both nurses and physicians. Many physicians (12%) and nurses (26%) rated their hospitals unfavorably on patient safety, reported having too few nurses (28% and 54%, respectively), reported having a poor work environment (20% and 34%, respectively), and lacked confidence in management (42% and 46%, respectively). Fewer than 10% of clinicians described their workplace as joyful. Both physicians and nurses rated management interventions to improve care delivery as more important to their mental health and well-being than interventions directed at improving clinicians' mental health. Improving nurse staffing was ranked highest among interventions (87% of nurses and 45% of physicians).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This cross-sectional survey study of physicians and nurses practicing in US Magnet hospitals found that hospitals characterized as having too few nurses and unfavorable work environments had higher rates of clinician burnout, turnover, and unfavorable patient safety ratings. Clinicians wanted action by management to address insufficient nurse staffing, insufficient clinician control over workload, and poor work environments; they were less interested in wellness programs and resilience training.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Patient Care Services / Nursing

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