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Second victims in Europe

EU patient safety policy has, inter alia, the following targets: protecting patients from preventable harm, mapping national patient safety policies to provide a basis for mutual sharing of knowledge, establishing effective reporting and learning systems through a blame-free culture to avoid AEs, and developing redress mechanisms, including fair compensation to patients. The impact of organisational and patient safety culture, leadership styles, gender differences in the stress reactivity and responses, work climate, or well-being at work as included in the Quadruple Aim scheme -effectiveness, efficiency, patient experience and caring for the care provider- are recognised requisites to achieve these objectives.

Now and since the past two decades different interventions are being implemented in Europe to enhance the resilience of healthcare professionals in stressful situations for addressing this problem. However, the number of proved interventions in progress is scarce.

The worries and shame experimented with these events are some of the barriers that make it difficult to tackle this phenomenon, as well as preventing from engaging more actively in putting up barriers, speaking up or reporting adverse events, finally the patients are the biggest affected. In addition to very different legal schemes coexist, barriers to speak-up about errors, mistakes, and mishaps and blame and shame cultures.

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