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D. Triage and Deployment Process

Below is a recommended Triage and Deployment process. This process will depend on your institution’s resources and preferences. Components of the process can either be done manually or via automated functions. The roles of the Peer, Central Leadershipship, Local Leadership, and Peer Supporter, along with automation tips, are detailed below.

Peer Support Triage and Deployment Process Flowchart

Peer

Peer Support Request Form

The Peer Support Request Form should collect basic information about Peers so that Peers can be matched with Peer Supporters best match their backgrounds and stated preferences. The form can exist on any encrypted survey platform, such as RedCap, Microsoft Forms, or your institution’s intranet.

It is important to ask the Peer if they would prefer to be matched with a Peer Supporter from their own unit/department, or from another. Sometimes, Peers prefer the anonymity of speaking with someone with whom they don’t directly work or engage on a regular basis.

The form should contain an overview of the program and what the Peer can expect. Below is sample verbiage to
include on your Peer Support Request Form:

Thank you for your interest in the Peer Support Program!

It is normal to feel anxious, fearful, or confused following an adverse patient event. Peer Support is “emotional first aid” for anyone impacted by a difficult event or stressful situation encountered through patient care.

Peer Support is strictly confidential and will not be included in any Quality review. Your request form will only be visible to core Peer Support team members.

Peer Supporters are your colleagues who have been specially trained to support impacted staff. Their goal is to provide empathetic and nonjudgmental listening, coping skills, and hospital resources.

A Peer Support Lead will pair you with a Peer Supporter who best matches your professional background and stated preferences. The Peer Supporter will reach out within 24 hours to set up a time to speak.

If you are in need of immediate assistance, please contact Employee Assistance Program at 345-293-3948
M-F 8a-5p, or via page #23457 during after-hours.

Below are some questions to include on your form:

  • Employee ID
  • Fulll name
  • Site/ Location
  • Role
  • Number of years of experience in role
  • Would you like your Peer Supporter to be from your unit/department, or from another unit/department?
  • Do you have any preferences regarding who your Peer Supporter should be (e.g. gender, training level)?
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Please share any related safety report number or anything else you’d like us to know

Thank You Email
Once the Peer Support Request Form is submitted, the Peer should receive a thank-you email that reiterates the purpose and confidentiality of the program, the time frame during which the Peer Supporter will reach out, and any written materials that can kickstart the Peer’s healing process, such as a list of educational tools and/or a list of the institution’s other support resources.

Peer Support Discussion
The Peer meets with the assigned Peer Supporter 1-3 times, either virtually or in-person. See The Steps of a Peer Support Intervention to learn more about what the conversation may look like.

Peer Support Feedback Survey
Peers should receive a feedback survey about 2 weeks after their Peer Support request. It is recommended to wait 2 weeks to send the feedback survey so that the Peer is neither in the height of their crisis nor has enough time passed that receiving the feedback survey would be a trigger/reminder of difficulties past. The Peer Support Feedback Survey should be voluntary, and fully anonymous to encourage honest feedback.

Below is a sample Peer Support Feedback Survey:

  1. What is your unit/department?
  2. What is your role?
  3. Please provide any positive or constructive feedback for the Peer Support Program.
  4. Please indicate the degree to which you agree with the following statements.
Strongly
Disagree
DisagreeNeutralAgreeStrongly
Agree
I am satisfied with the degree of
confidentiality of the program.
I was connected with a Peer
Supporter in a timely fashion.
I was connected with a Peer
Supporter in a timely fashion.
I felt comfortable speaking with
my Peer Supporter.
My Peer Supporter was
knowledgeable about
educational and supportive
resources.
My outlook improved after my
Peer Support discussion
I would recommend Peer
Support to my colleagues.

Central Peer Support Lead

Notification to Central Peer Support Lead
Once the Peer Support Request Form is submitted, the Central Peer Support Lead should receive a notification of the request.

Decision: Did the Peer specify that they prefer to be matched with a Peer Supporter from another unit/department?

  • Yes: The Central Peer Support Lead assigns the Peer Supporter. This is to maintain the anonymity of the Peer; perhaps the Peer did not want their local Peer Support Lead or colleagues to know they had requested Peer Support.
  • No: The Central Lead moves on to the next decision point.

Decision: Is there a local Peer Support Program for the Peer’s unit/department? For example, a nurse from the Surgical ICU requests Peer Support, and the unit runs a local Peer Support program

  • Yes: The Central Peer Support Lead assigns the Peer Support Request to the Local Peer Support Lead of the Peer’s unit/department. The Local Peer Support Lead knows best which Peer Supporter is available and will be the best match.
  • No: The Central Lead assigns the Peer Supporter. This option exists in order to offer Peer Support to the entire institution, even if a unit/department has not developed its own local Peer Support program yet.

Peer Supporter Deployment
When applicable, the Central Peer Support Lead should assign a Peer Supporter who best matches the Peer’s professional background and stated preferences. For example, a critical care nurse with 10 years of experience should be paired with a nurse with a similar background and tenure.

The Central Peer Support Lead can consult the Central Peer Supporter Directory to narrow down appropriate Peer
Supporters by unit/department, role, years of experience, etc., and can then reach out to those Peer Supporters to
determine which one is available to take the request.

Local Peer Support Lead Assignment
When applicable, the Central Peer Support Lead assigns the Peer Support Request to the Local Peer Support Lead.

Documentation
Once a Peer Supporter or Local Peer Support Lead is assigned, the Central Peer Support Lead should document who was assigned and mark the request as closed. It is important to track which Peer Supporters have been deployed so as to not deploy the same Peer Supporter too many times. Documentation should be housed in a secure data center.

Local Peer Support Lead

Notification to Local Peer Support Lead
If the Central Peer Support Lead has assigned the Peer Support Request to the Local Peer Support Lead, the Local Peer Support Lead should be alerted to this assignment.

Peer Supporter Deployment
When applicable, the Local Peer Support Lead should assign a Peer Supporter who best matches the Peer’s professional background and stated preferences. For example, a critical care nurse with 10 years of experience should be paired with a nurse with a similar background and tenure.

Below is a sample Notification to Peer Supporter:

Peer Supporter Contacts Peer
The Peer Supporter should ideally reach out to the Peer within 24 hours of the request. See The Steps of a Peer Support Intervention: Outreach below for a sample outreach email.

Peer Support Discussion
The Peer and Peer Supporter meet during the agreed upon time(s) to discuss anything that may be on the Peer’s mind. The pair should meet either on a HIPAA-compliant remote meeting platform, or in a private room in-person. See The Steps of a Peer Support Intervention below to learn more about the Peer Support Discussion.

Follow-Up
Toward the end of the Peer Support Discussion, the Peer Supporter should ask permission from the Peer to reach out again in the near future. If the Peer is amenable to being contacted, the Peer Supporter should reach out to the Peer in the 1-2 weeks following the initial Peer Support Discussion.

The following are steps that can be done by the Peer Supporter for the follow-up intervention:

  • Email, call, or text to see how the Peer is doing
  • Include “Confidential/Peer Review Protected” in an email subject line
  • Ask if the Peer is interested in meeting or speaking again, and offer your availability
  • Inquire if the Peer was successful in making appointments, contacting support resources, or completing any other steps in the plan you created together
  • Inquire if the Peer needs anything else

Documentation: Peer Supporter Intervention Form
Once the Peer Support Intervention is complete, the Peer Supporter should document their basic interventions so that leadership can track program utilization.

Below is a sample Peer Supporter Intervention Form:

  1. Did you have a Peer Support Discussion?
    ☐ Yes – one session
    ☐ Yes – two sessions
    ☐ Yes – three or more sessions
    ☐ No – The Peer declined to speak
    ☐ No – The Peer did not respond to my outreach

  2. Date(s) of session(s)

  3. What mode of communication did you use to speak to your Peer?
    ☐ In-person meeting
    ☐ Virtual meeting
    ☐ Phone call
    ☐ Written correspondence (text/email)

  4. How long on average did you speak to the Peer?
    ☐ Less than 15 minutes
    ☐ 15-30 minutes
    ☐ 30-60 minutes
    ☐ 1-2 hours
    ☐ Greater than 2 hours

  5. What additional available resources did you suggest to the Peer if any?
    ☐ Create a multi-select dropdown menu of resources available at your institution, such as Risk Management, Spiritual Care, and Social Work

  6. What educational/supportive tools did you share with the Peer if any?
    ☐ The 6 Stages Clinicians Commonly Experience Following an Adverse Event
    ☐ The Risks and Benefits of Guiding Ideals of Healthcare Professionals
    ☐ The Stress Continuum Mode
    ☐ Understanding the Wave of Grief
    ☐ Any other available written or educational resources

  7. How prepared did you feel as a Peer Supporter?
    ☐ Very prepared
    ☐ Somewhat prepared
    ☐ Not at all prepared

  8. Please let us know any way we can improve the Peer Support program.
Triage and Deployment Process: To Do’s
☐ Create Peer Support Request Form

☐ Create Thank You Email

☐ Create Peer Support Feedback Survey

☐ Create alert notification to Central Peer Support Lead

☐ Create documentation spreadsheet/form for Central Peer Support Lead

☐ Create alert notification to Local Peer Support Lead

☐ Create documentation spreadsheet/form for Local Peer Support Lead

☐ Create alert notification to Peer Supporter

☐ Create Peer Supporter Interventions Form

☐ Create reminder to complete Peer Supporter Interventions Form

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