International survey also highlights overcrowding due to boarding and perceived lack of support from management
By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, May 31, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The main safety issues in the emergency department include shortage of personnel during busy periods, overcrowding due to boarding, and lack of support from hospital management, according to a survey study conducted among emergency department professionals and published online May 24 in the European Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Roberta Petrino, M.D., from Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale in Lugano, Switzerland, and colleagues examined health professionals’ perception of the level of safety in emergency departments in a survey addressing five main domains of safety (teamwork, safety leadership, physical environment and equipment, staff/external teams, and organizational factors and informatics) that was distributed to emergency department professionals. A total of 1,256 responses (84 percent doctors and 16 percent nurses) were included across 101 different countries, with 70 percent of respondents from Europe.
The researchers found that the most critical issue was imbalance between needs and staff availability at times of greatest flow, which only 22.4 percent of doctors and 20.7 percent of nurses considered as sufficient. In addition, overcrowding due to boarding and a perceived lack of support from hospital management were highlighted. However, 83 percent of the professionals reported being proud to work in the emergency department.
“Governments and health care authorities must seek to remedy this situation as a matter of urgency before the situation worsens further at which point it may become too late to arrest the spiral of decline,” writes the author of an accompanying editorial.
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