Hospital safety is put at risk by healthcare workers afflicted by staff shortages in Israel, according to a 2019 survey the results of which were released last week. The survey is completed bi-yearly by the Health Ministry and designed to evaluate organizational safety in Israel's general hospitals.
The main complaint reported by staff (34% of all comments listed on the survey) was that there is not enough man power and that the load relying on individual healthcare workers is too high. Around 40% of staff reported that they are impacted by the severe lack of manpower (43%), and that shift changes and transfers between different departments negatively impact organizational safety (43%).
The survey also examined the culture of incident reporting at hospitals, finding that a large proportion of staff (46%) are "very" or "extremely" afraid of being punished following the report of safely incidents. This is a major impediment to staff cooperation in improving organizational safety, according to the Health Ministry.
The Health Ministry is working towards implementing a culture in which staff report incidents to hospital management and the ministry, believing that organizations with a culture of open communication on issues of safety create an environment in which organizations can learn from incidents and are likely to achieve higher levels of safety than organizations who seek to place blame.
The survey found that hospitals are aware of and are working to improve the safety of treatment to a medium degree (60% responded positively to these questions).
In the survey, some 69% of healthcare workers ranked their work environment as "very good" or excellent," and 82% of workers say that there are good and supportive relationships among department staff.
The survey is based on the American Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality survey. It surveyed 6,194 workers from 35 hospitals. The healthcare workers who responded to the poll included nurses, doctors, paramedical teams, management and service support staff.