The Design and Impact of a Novel Surgery-Specific Second Victim Peer Support Program
Majed El Hechi1, Jordan Bohnen1, Maggie Westfal1, Kelsey Han1, Christy Cauley2, Cameron Wright1, John Schulz1, Keith Lillemoe1, Haytham Kaafarani1
1Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; 2Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Background: Surgeons are particularly prone to feelings of sadness, guilt and anxiety when involved in major intraoperative adverse events (iAEs).
Methods: We set out to create a second victim peer support program for surgeons and surgical trainees. Participants included Surgical attendings and trainees as Peer Supporters or Affected Peers. We aim to describe the program design and evaluate its one-year impact using an anonymous qualitative and quantitative survey.
Results: The program was established using 5 steps [Figure]. In one year, the program had 47 interventions distributed evenly between attendings and trainees; 19% of affected peers opted out of receiving support. Most participants expressed their satisfaction with the program’s confidentiality, the safe/trusting environment it provided, and the timeliness of the intervention (89%, 73%, and 83%, respectively); 81% suggested that the program had a positive impact on the department’s “safety and support” culture and would recommend the program to a colleague. Several significant areas for improvement were identified such as the need for improved identification of events needing intervention and the need for increased awareness of the program throughout the department.
Conclusions: We report the design and impact of the first surgery-specific peer support program in the United States. Our one-year experience suggests that the program is highly utilized and well-received, albeit with opportunities for improvement.
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