Online Program

Evaluation of the impact of massive hospitalization of trauma patients on staff performance

Monday, November 4, 2013

Irini Albanti, MA, MPH, Global Health, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Background: After the “Arab Spring” events in Libya, patients who suffered injuries during the conflicts were air-evacuated to Greece's largest healthcare network. We examined the effect this unexpected, massive flow of trauma patients had on staff by studying the experiences of employees involved in the evacuation and hospitalization of approximately 1300 Libyan patients between November 2011 and August 2012. Methods: Questionnaires with open and closed questions were used to self-assess individual impact on job performance, followed by interviews. Participants included 34 employees at 3 general hospitals and 2 rehabilitation centers in rural and urban areas (age 25-55, white men and women, Greek native speakers) in all staff categories from CEOs, physicians, nurses, EMT, translators, chefs, administrative and supportive personnel. Results: All assigned subjects completed the study. Self-reported confidence and stress levels were not highly associated with years of experience or seniority in the workplace. Familiarity with foreign cultures and languages was slightly associated with a higher readiness and performance level. Factors others than individual technical and scientific skills, such as flight frequency, time arrival of the flight, lack of patient's foreign language skills, and patient cultural and psychological issues were strongly associated with employees' performance. Conclusions: Emergency preparedness training and systematic interventions are critical to maintain satisfactory staff performance levels when massively hospitalizing trauma patients. Further research is suggested to examine the cultural, ethical and temporary displacement issues of massive hospitalization of a homogenous patient group (such as Libyan patients) in a homogenous foreign host society (such as Greece).

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership

Learning Objectives:
Describe the level of preparedness employees reported during the hospitalization of trauma victims Explain the five main causes of staff self-reported reduced confidence and increased stress levels during the hospitalization of trauma victims Identify areas of improvement in order to optimize disaster response

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have more than 10 years of international healthcare management experience in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. I have worked with war victims from Libya and designed strategic plans for the health care system reform in South Sudan and Iraq. I am interested in studying the ways displaced injured patients affect the communities and medical units which host them, as well as the operational, cultural and ethical considerations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.