In this national study, physician burnout, fatigue, and work unit safety grades were associated with major medical errors.
Of 6,695 physicians in active practice surveyed, 6,586 provided information:
Those reporting errors were more likely to have symptoms of burnout (77.6% vs 51.5%), fatigue (46.6% vs 31.2%), and recent suicidal ideation (12.7% vs 5.8%).
In multivariate analysis, errors were independently more likely to be reported by physicians with incrementally worse work unit safety grades.
Interventions to reduce medical errors must address physician well-being and work unit safety, the authors say.