Annual Industry Survey: Second Victim Support

Adverse events have been a major focus for healthcare organizations for quite some time, but it has only been recently that attention has been paid to the impact of those events on the doctors, nurses, and specialists directly involved. The so-called second victims are likely to suffer an emotional response that could lead to difficulty sleeping, guilt, anxiety, or a decline in job satisfaction. If unaddressed, adverse events can result in consequences for second victims including depression, burnout, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal ideation.

Respondents to the 2018 Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare Industry Outlook Survey indicated that second victim support is an emerging issue, albeit one that many facilities have still not tackled. A resounding 62% of survey respondents indicated that their organization does not have a second victim support program.

The concept is making inroads, however. Sixteen percent of respondents said their organization has a second victim program in place, and 13% said they are exploring creating a program. Meanwhile, 9% of respondents said their organization has no plans at this time to add a second victim support program.

Second victim programs offer support to all kinds of staff. Of those respondents who have a second victim program, 46% said it is highly effective in working with nurses, with 31% saying it was that effective for physicians and 30% for executive staff.

The survey report analyzes this and other patient safety and quality issues that concern healthcare organizations. Visit here to download the full report.

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