The AHRQ PSNet Collection comprises an extensive selection of resources relevant to the patient safety community. These resources come in a variety of formats, including literature, research, tools, and Web sites. Resources are identified using the National Library of Medicine’s Medline database, various news and content aggregators, and the expertise of the AHRQ PSNet editorial and technical teams.
Bushuven S, Trifunovic-Koenig M, Bentele M, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:16016.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) who are involved in serious adverse events may feel traumatized by those events, and many organizations have implemented “second victim” training programs to support their workers. This study sought to understand HCWs’ motivations to attend such trainings and a potential association with overconfidence. Understanding the association may help organizations develop effective training programs and increase motivation to attend them.
Aubin DL, Soprovich A, Diaz Carvallo F, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2022;11:e002004.
Healthcare workers (HCW) and patients can experience negative psychological impacts following medical error; the negative impact can be compounded when workers and patients are prevented from processing the error. This study explored interactions between patients/families and HCWs following a medical error, highlighting barriers to communication, as well as the need for training and peer support for HCWs. Importantly, HCW and patients/families expressed feeling empathy towards the other and stressed that open communication can lead to healing for some.
Pado K, Fraus K, Mulhem E, et al. J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2022;Epub Dec 12.
Medical errors may lead to feelings of distress for clinicians, but these errors can also be an opportunity for growth. This study used the Second Victim Experience and Support Tool (SVEST) and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory to assess the extent, if any, of growth following a medical mishap. Rumination and the impact of the medical mishap were associated with distress among both physicians and nurses. The impact of the event was associated with growth in nurses, but no factor was associated with growth in physicians.
Mahat S, Rafferty AM, Vehviläinen-Julkunen K, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22:1474.
Healthcare staff who are involved in a medical error often experience emotional distress. Using qualitative methods and text mining of medication error incident reports, researchers in this study identified the negative emotions experienced by healthcare staff after a medication error (e.g., fear, guilt, sadness) and perceptions regarding how superiors and colleagues effectively responded to the events (e.g., reassurance, support, and guidance).
“Second victims” are healthcare providers and support staff involved in an unexpected adverse event and experience continuing psychological harm. While some hospitals provide formal support for “second victims,” it is frequently underutilized. In addition to implementing (and improving) formal support programs, this commentary also encourages a culture of safety and understanding of the 6-stage pathway toward recovery.
Seys D, De Decker E, Waelkens H, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:717-721.
Burnout and stress among healthcare workers can adversely impact patient safety. Using data from two cross-sectional surveys, this study found the COVID-19 pandemic had a larger impact on the mental health and well-being of healthcare workers compared to involvement in a patient safety incident. Negative psychological symptoms such as anxiety, sleep deprivation, and wanting to leave the profession were all significantly higher in COVID-19-related groups.
Honest apology is known to support healing from medical error for clinicians, patients, and families. This essay shares the experience of one physician who missed signs of a heart attack, mislabeling the condition as fatigue, who then apologized for the mistake. The author highlights how openness about the error was crucial in the continuation of the care relationship.
Clinicians involved in adverse events may experience feelings of guilt, shame, and inadequacy; this is referred to as “second victim” phenomenon. In this study of pediatric surgeons and surgical trainees, 84% experienced a poor patient outcome. Responses to the adverse event varied by level of experience (e.g., resident, attending), gender, and age.
Harrison R, Johnson J, McMullan RD, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:587-604.
Providers who are involved in a medial error may experience a range of negative emotions and utilize a variety of coping mechanisms following the error. The authors update their 2010 systematic review on medical professionals’ coping with medical error and apply their Recovery from Situations of Error Theory (ReSET) model. The ReSET model provides a basis to develop and evaluate interventions to reduce feelings of distress and increase providers’ coping skills.
Neft MW, Sekula K, Zoucha R, et al. AANA J. 2022;90(3):189-196.
Healthcare workers who are involved in a patient safety incident may experience adverse psychological outcomes. This integrative review summarizes the importance of organizational safety culture and highlights strategies and programs (such as the RISE support program and peer support teams) for supporting healthcare professionals after involvement in a patient safety incident.
Strategies to reduce clinician burnout related to adverse events are critically needed. Physicians in the United States were surveyed on their experiences with adverse events to identify facilitators and barriers to reducing burnout. A common facilitator was peer support, and barriers included shame and a punitive work environment.
Buhlmann M, Ewens B, Rashidi A. J Adv Nurs. 2022;78:2960-2972.
The term “second victims” describes clinicians who experience emotional or physical distress following involvement in an adverse event. Nurses and midwives were interviewed about “moving on” from the impact of a critical incident. Five main themes were identified: Initial emotional and physical response, the aftermath, long-lasting repercussions, workplace support, and moving on. Lack of organizational support exacerbated the nurses’ and midwives’ responses.
Khansa I, Pearson GD. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2022;10:e4203.
Some clinicians experience profound emotional distress following an adverse event, known as the “second victim” phenomenon. This study of surgical residents in the US found that most residents who reported being part of a medical error had subsequent emotional distress, including guilt, anxiety, and insomnia. Importantly, while three quarters of residents reported they did not get emotional support following the event, all those who did get support reported benefiting from it.
Rivera-Chiauzzi EY, Smith HA, Moore-Murray T, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e308-e314.
Peer support programs are increasingly used to support clinicians involved in adverse events. This evaluation found that a structured peer support program for providers involved in obstetric adverse events can effectively support providers in short periods of time (for example, 92% of participants did not need follow-up after second peer support contact) and can be initiated with limited resources.
Samuels A, Broome ME, McDonald TB, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manage. 2021;26:251-260.
Healthcare systems have implemented communication-and-resolution programs (CRPs) (aka CANDOR) to encourage early disclosure of adverse events. This evaluation found that CRP training participants demonstrated improvements in self-reported empathy and communication skills.
Marr R, Goyal A, Quinn M, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21:1330.
Many hospitals are implementing programs to support clinicians involved in adverse events (‘second victims’). Researchers interviewed 12 representatives of second victim programs in the United States about the experiences of their programs. The article discusses representative feedback regarding the importance of identifying a need for second victim programs and services, perceived challenges to program success, structural changes after program implementation, and insights for success.
Healthcare professionals involved in a medical error often experience psychological distress. This article describes the validation of a revised version of the Second Victim Experience and Support Tool (SVEST-R), which was expanded to include measures of resilience and desired forms of support.
Draus C, Mianecki TB, Musgrove H, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2022;37:110-116.
“Second victims” are healthcare providers who experience negative feelings in their personal or professional lives after being involved in unanticipated adverse patient events. One hundred and fifty-nine nurses at one American hospital reported being a second victim and experiencing psychological and/or physical distress following the incident.
Clinicians can experience adverse psychological consequences after making a mistake. This survey of 1,167 nurses found that social capital (both alone and in combination with psychological capital) has a significant impact on the severity of these adverse psychological outcomes.
There has been some controversy around the term ‘second victim.’ Based on qualitative interviews with representatives of medical training organizations and legal professionals in Ireland, this study found that the use of term ‘second victim’ can be seen as insensitive to the patient and can erode the professional identity of the healthcare provider.
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