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12/5/2019

ASHP Member Survey Yields New Insights on Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Workforce Burnout and Well-being

Nancy Gregory

Nancy GregoryNews Writer
News Center

While a majority of hospital and health-system pharmacists feel job-induced stress, many are satisfied with their jobs and believe that they are working at their fullest potential, according to the findings of an ASHP member survey on well-being and resilience in the workforce.

ASHP conducted the 2019 Well-Being and Resilience Survey online from late July to early September to assess the pharmacy workforce’s awareness and perception of clinician burnout. Highlights from the survey’s findings include:

  • Sixty-seven percent of pharmacist respondents reported job-induced stress.
  • Forty-six percent of the survey respondents reported experiencing burnout.
  • Despite work-related stress, ASHP members said they are satisfied with their jobs (77%) and that they are working at their fullest potential (61%).
  • Most member pharmacists (83%) said they feel valued by their interprofessional colleagues as part of patient care teams, particularly by physicians and nurses.
  • Member pharmacists reported that their values are aligned with their leaderships’ values (62%), and most perceived their senior executives and administrators as valuing the role of pharmacists (64%).
  • Less than half (45%) of survey respondents were comfortable telling their supervisors about feeling burned out.
  • Pharmacists in the profession for 11-19 years reported the most stress (77%), followed by those practicing for 20-29 years (73%). Sixty-eight percent of those in the profession 6-10 years reported job-induced stress, as did 56% of those with 30+ years.

It is still clear, however, that burnout and excessive stress are affecting a significant segment of our pharmacy workforce, and that much more work needs to be done at the organizational, local, state, and national level to support those who are working on the front lines of patient care.  ASHP has made pharmacy workforce well-being and resilience a priority strategic issue, and it will remain a top priority until a range of workable solutions to support the entire patient-care team are in place throughout our nation’s healthcare system.    

Other findings include:

  • In the area of well-being and burnout resources within their organization, half of the pharmacists surveyed indicated they had sufficient resources to maintain their well-being; similarly, nearly half said they had resources to avoid burnout.
  • Nearly 75% of respondents said they had not participated in an employer-organized well-being and resilience program or one outside of their organization. Less than 40% said their organizations offer well-being and resilience programming.
  • According to pharmacist respondents, training during working hours is the best way to increase participation in well-being and resilience programming. Pharmacists want to learn strategies to help manage and avoid damaging behaviors; particularly, pharmacists want to learn how to recover from a stress work event (74%) and how to identify and manage negative patterns (83%).

ASHP remains committed to fostering and sustaining the well-being, resilience, and professional engagement of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy residents, and student pharmacists in hospitals and health systems. A healthy and thriving clinician workforce is essential to ensuring optimal patient health outcomes and safety. Through its Well-Being & You resource, ASHP provides opportunities for members to promote resilience, share stories of well-being in the workplace, and find tools and support for resilience activities.

ASHP’s leadership on clinician well-being spans four decades, beginning with the 1982 publication of a report in AJHP about recognizing, reversing, and preventing burnout among hospital pharmacists. This year, an ASHP-commissioned survey by The Harris Poll found that 77% of Americans fear for their health if they see that their clinician feels burned out, and 91% want their healthcare team, including pharmacists, to do whatever they can to avoid burnout.

At this year’s Midyear Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas, ASHP’s Well-Being Collaborative will host a solution-focused, all-day interprofessional event on resilience and preventing burnout. Panelists will include representatives from the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, of which ASHP is an original sponsoring member.

The Well-Being Collaborative will be held Sunday, December 8, in Mandalay Bay South, Oceanside A, Level 2.