System-Level Improvements in Work Environments Lead to Lower Nurse Burnout and Higher Patient Satisfaction

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Burnout among nurses is associated with lower patient satisfaction, yet few system-level solutions have been identified to improve outcomes.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between nurse burnout and patient satisfaction and determine whether work environments are associated with these outcomes.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional analysis of 463 hospitals in 4 states. Burnout was defined using the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Patient satisfaction was obtained from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey.

Results: Fifty percent of hospitals where burnout is high have poor work environments, which is strongly related to lower patient satisfaction.

Conclusions: High levels of nurse burnout are associated with lower patient satisfaction. Our findings demonstrate that hospitals can improve outcomes through investments in work environments.