Focus at Four: Why doctor burnout is bad news for patients

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Can your doctor's health, both physical and mental, affect the care you receive?

A new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings says yes, it can.

Burnout can contribute to major medical errors. According to the Institute of Medicine, every year those errors cause an estimated 100,000-200,000 deaths.

CHI St. Joseph Health Interim CEO Dr. Kia Parsi says he's happy to report that he doesn't often come across this problem with his staff.

"Our physicians really enjoy their work, and that makes a difference," said Parsi.

The hospital still has safeguards in place to make sure patients are getting the best care from doctors who are healthy enough to provide it. Every six months, physicians are are evaluated on a variety of criteria related to their performance. Based on those results, Parsi says appropriate action will be taken.

"Burnout exists in every profession," said Parsi. "But in healthcare, the stakes are higher."