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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Caring for our own: deploying a systemwide second victim rapid response team.

Scott SD, Hirschinger LE, Cox KR, et al. Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety. 2010;36:233-40.

Rapid response systems (RRS) continue to penetrate hospitals nationally as a method to rescue patients experiencing imminent clinical deterioration. This study takes the same model and describes the context for and development of an innovative RRS to care for the second victim—a health care provider involved in an unanticipated adverse event, medical error, or patient-related injury. The authors surveyed faculty and staff at their institution and found that 39% were familiar with the term second victim and 30% reported personal problems in the past 12 months resulting from their involvement in a patient safety event. More than 80% of respondents expressed a desire for internal rather than external support when needing assistance. Early learnings from a second victim RRS are described, including training of "clinician lifeguards" and monitoring of the interventions. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary explored how providers recover from their involvement in medical errors.