GREENVILLE, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ob Hospitalist Group, the nation’s leading provider of OB/GYN hospitalist services, today announced the launch of its CARE program, a first-of-its-kind peer support initiative designed to support clinicians who are suffering from the psychological/emotional impact of an unexpected and adverse obstetrical event.
Through the CARE (Clinician Assistance. Recovery & Encouragement.) Program, trained peers support OBHG colleagues in an atmosphere of confidentiality, empathy, trust, and respect in the immediate aftermath of a negative patient care-related event. It is believed to be the first large-scale obstetrics peer-support program in the country, available to over 600 OBHG clinicians at over 120 hospitals in the U.S.
The CARE program is designed to address the well-documented concept of the “second victim.” A wide body of research has found that when healthcare providers are involved in an unanticipated patient event, a medical error and/or a patient-related injury, they often feel as though they have failed the patient, second guessing their clinical skills and knowledge base.
“Unanticipated medical outcomes can be devastating for both patients and physicians. Our research found nine in ten of our physicians did not feel adequately supported in coping with error-related stress, and eight in ten reported they would be interested in counseling after a serious error occurred,” said Leonard L. Castiglione, chief executive officer, Ob Hospitalist Group. “We designed the CARE program based on a ‘first responder’ approach: to offer emotional first aid and peer-to-peer wraparound support to clinicians who are suffering vicarious trauma, to help them regain the emotional health and equilibrium necessary to provide skillful, empathetic care for patients.”
The second victim phenomenon is particularly acute in obstetrics, a practice associated with some of the most wonderous moments in families’ lives. The vast majority of deliveries are joyful ones, and clinicians go home at the end of the day with a sense of pride, deriving meaning from their professional lives. But unfortunately, that is not always the case – and obstetrics is one of the few practices in which clinical detachment is impossible to practice all of the time.
An estimated 65 percent of clinicians experiencing vicarious trauma deal with it alone, experiencing difficulty sleeping, flashbacks, a loss of confidence in their professional abilities, dread, overwhelming grief, burnout, and depression. Some choose to stop practicing medicine altogether. In 2000, a commentary published in the peer-reviewed The BMJ noted the critical need for peer support, stating, “Sadly, the kind of unconditional sympathy and support that are really needed are rarely forthcoming…reassurance from colleagues is often grudging or qualified.”
If the needs of a colleague are more complex and/or exceed the knowledge and resources of the trained peer CAREgiver, additional EAP experts, highly trained in specialty care, are available to support the clinician to recovery. OBHG clinicians may utilize the service without the risk of losing the protection of data confidentiality or fearing discovery in the case of potential litigation.
“CARE reflects OBHG’s culture of open communication, transparency, and commitment to reporting and sharing of patient safety events. We’re hopeful that this type of peer-support initiative will not only support our OBHG clinicians, but will also serve as a model for hospitals, health systems, and other organizations that seek to holistically support both patients who suffer adverse impacts and ‘second victim’ clinicians,” said Castiglione.
About Ob Hospitalist Group
Ob Hospitalist Group (OBHG) is the nation’s leading provider of OB/GYN Hospitalist Services. The company was founded in 2006 with a vision to elevate the standard of women's healthcare by ensuring every expectant mother presenting to the hospital receives consistent and unconditional medical care by an experienced physician. OBHG leads the nation in developing and managing customized, financially viable OB/GYN hospitalist programs featuring an Obstetric Emergency Department (OBED) staffed with Board Certified physicians 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Over the last decade the company’s national network has grown to over 600 dedicated OB clinicians serving in more than 120 partner hospitals across 31 states. For more information, visit www.obhg.com.