Perceptions of Institutional Support for "Second Victims" Are Associated with Safety Culture and Workforce Well-Being.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: This study was performed to determine whether health care worker (HCW) assessments of good institutional support for second victims were associated with institutional safety culture and workforce well-being. METHODS: HCWs' awareness of work colleagues emotionally traumatized by an unanticipated clinical event (second victims), their perceptions of level of institutional support for such colleagues, safety culture, and workforce well-being were assessed using a cross-sectional survey (SCORE [Safety, Communication, Operational Reliability, and Engagement] survey). Safety culture scores and workforce well-being scores were compared across work settings with high (top quartile) and low (bottom quartile) perceptions of second victim support. RESULTS: Of the 10,627 respondents (81.5% response rate), 36.3% knew at least one work colleague who had been traumatized by an unanticipated clinical event. Across 396 work settings, the percentage of respondents agreeing (slightly or strongly) that second victims receive appropriate support ranged from 0% to 100%. Across all respondents, significant correlations between perceived support for second victims and all SCORE domains (Improvement Readiness, Local Leadership, Teamwork Climate, Safety Climate, Emotional Exhaustion, Burnout Climate, and Work-Life Balance) were found. The 24.9% of respondents who knew an actual second victim and reported inadequate institutional support were significantly more negative in their assessments of safety culture and well-being than the 42.2% who reported adequate institutional support. CONCLUSION: Perceived institutional support for second victims was associated with a better safety culture and lower emotional exhaustion. Investment in programs to support second victims may improve overall safety culture and HCW well-being.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sexton, JB; Adair, KC; Profit, J; Milne, J; McCulloh, M; Scott, S; Frankel, A

Published Date

  • May 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 306 - 312

PubMed ID

  • 33563556

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1938-131X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jcjq.2020.12.001


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands