The University of Missouri Health Care (MUHC), an academic healthcare system located in Columbia, Missouri, USA, deployed an evidence-based emotional support structure for second victims based on research with recovering second victims. MUHC is a six-hospital healthcare system with 52 ambulatory clinics and approximately 6,500 employees.
The second victim support structure, known as the forYOU Team, was designed to increase awareness of the second victim phenomenon, “normalise” the psychological and physical impacts, provide real-time surveillance for possible second victims within clinical settings, and render immediate peer-to-peer emotional support when a potential second victim is identified.
This article published in Patient Safety & Quality analyses the success of the programme.
The forYOU Team’s five-year experience in providing clinician support has yielded many valuable insights into this aspect of MUHC’s patient safety culture. Organisational awareness of the second victim phenomenon and an institutional response plan are critical steps in minimising the suffering of the institution’s healthcare clinicians. From this experience, the authors strongly encourage healthcare facilities to develop a comprehensive plan and provide accessible, effective support for all clinicians experiencing the second victim phenomenon.