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High-Volume NICUs See More Staff Burnout

High-Volume NICUs See More Staff Burnout
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TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Staff burnout in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) is most prevalent in units with high patient volume and electronic health records, according to a study published online April 18 in Pediatrics.

Daniel S. Tawfik, M.D., from Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and colleagues surveyed 1,934 nurse practitioners, physicians, registered nurses, and respiratory therapists in 41 California NICUs using a validated four-item questionnaire based on the Maslach Burnout Inventory.

The researchers found that the overall burnout prevalence was 26.7 percent, with the highest burnout prevalence found among NICUs with higher average daily admissions (P < 0.001), higher average occupancy (P = 0.02), and those with electronic health records (P = 0.03). Nursing burnout was more sensitive to organizational differences than physician burnout, in multivariable modeling. Nursing burnout was also significantly associated with average daily admissions, late transfer proportion, nursing hours per patient day, and mortality per 1,000 infants, in sensitivity analysis. There was no association between burnout prevalence and the proportion of high-risk patients, teaching hospital distinction, or in-house attending presence.

“Interventions to reduce burnout prevalence may be of greater importance in NICUs with ≥10 weekly admissions,” the authors write.

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