The impact of medical errors on Swiss anaesthesiologists: a cross-sectional survey.

McLennan, S R; Engel-Glatter, S; Meyer, A H; Schwappach, D L B; Scheidegger, D H; Elger, B S (2015). The impact of medical errors on Swiss anaesthesiologists: a cross-sectional survey. Acta anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, 59(8), pp. 990-8. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/aas.12517

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BACKGROUND

Clinicians involved in medical errors can experience significant distress. This study aims to examine (1) how medical errors impact anaesthesiologists in key work and life domains; (2) anaesthesiologists' attitudes regarding support after errors; (3) and which anaesthesiologists are most affected by errors.

METHODS

This study is a mailed cross-sectional survey completed by 281 of the 542 clinically active anaesthesiologists (52% response rate) working at Switzerland's five university hospitals between July 2012 and April 2013.

RESULTS

Respondents reported that errors had negatively affected anxiety about future errors (51%), confidence in their ability as a doctor (45%), ability to sleep (36%), job satisfaction (32%), and professional reputation (9%). Respondents' lives were more likely to be affected as error severity increased. Ninety per cent of respondents disagreed that hospitals adequately support them in coping with the stress associated with medical errors. Nearly all of the respondents (92%) reported being interested in psychological counselling after a serious error, but many identified barriers to seeking counselling. However, there were significant differences between departments regarding error-related stress levels and attitudes about error-related support. Respondents were more likely to experience certain distress if they were female, older, had previously been involved in a serious error, and were dissatisfied with their last error disclosure.

CONCLUSION

Medical errors, even minor errors and near misses, can have a serious effect on clinicians. Health-care organisations need to do more to support clinicians in coping with the stress associated with medical errors.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Schwappach, David

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

0001-5172

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

21 May 2015 15:13

Last Modified:

27 Sep 2017 18:47

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/aas.12517

PubMed ID:

25952281

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.68962

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/68962

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