Healthcare Providers Second Victims of Medical Errors

by Colleen Fleiss on  April 4, 2019 at 1:28 PM Research News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

2000 editorial penned by John Hopkins' Dr. Albert Wu, proposed the term second victim to bring attention to the need for emotional support for doctors who are involved in a medical error. University of Kentucky's Melissa Clarkson in an editorial for The BMJ, one of the world's oldest general medical journals said it's time to abandon the term second victim.
Healthcare Providers Second Victims of Medical Errors
Healthcare Providers Second Victims of Medical Errors

When you type the phrase "victim of medical error" into your search engine, you expect to see scores of stories and images featuring patients and families whose lives have been devastated by a healthcare provider's unintentional, preventable action.

Astonishingly, what fills the screen instead are images of anguished men and women in white coats or scrubs. That bewildering result is the apparent effect of a 2000 editorial penned by Johns Hopkins' Dr. Albert Wu, who proposed the term "second victim" in an attempt to bring attention to the need for emotional support for doctors who are involved in a medical error.

The term has been perpetuated by authors and educators and has even been extended to include healthcare organizations, which are now deemed "third victims."

Clarkson, who co-authored the editorial with three mothers whose children who died after medical errors, said that the term "subtly promotes the belief that patient harm is random, caused by bad luck, and simply not preventable."

"This mindset is incompatible with the safety of patients and the accountability that patients and families expect from healthcare providers," they argued.

Clarkson et al stress that patient communities and their advocates do not question the need to support providers who have been involved in an incident of patient harm, but they ask the healthcare community to pause and reflect on the "second victim" moniker.

"Opinion is growing that [the term] is inappropriate, including among patients and healthcare professionals....even Wu has recently acknowledged concerns about its use," they wrote.

And while the "second victim" label may help providers and institutions to cope with an incident of medical harm, "it is a threat to enacting the deep cultural changes needed to achieve a patient-centered environment focused on patient safety," they added.

Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions
Advertisement

More News on:

Awareness about Healthcare Insurance in India Healthcare Insurance-Common Terms and Definitions Eradicate Quackery, Save Lives 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive