Research studies focusing on the critical patient safety are increasing. The flaws in the system and human factors are the main cause of adverse events. The complexity of the factors that contribute to health care risk required to deep through its analysis, in order to establish strategies for improvement in one of the key of quality dimensions .

The Iatroref study has been published online first this month in Intensive Care Medicine, the Journal of ESICM. In 31 French ICUs, the authors show that depression of professionals at intensive care units impacts negatively on the safety of the patient, increasing the risk of medical errors and adverse events.

The main objective of this study was to evaluate the potential association between factors such as depression, burnout, the culture of security and organizational characteristics of these units and the occurrence of certain adverse events.

The authors show their results in how depression is a factor to take into account, not only because of its significant prevalence (18.8% of physicians and 15.6% in nurses), but by interact significantly with a greater number of medical errors and adverse events (RR 2.07). Burnout is not related to increased medical risk and safety culture influenced limited in the occurrence of adverse events.

Other factors with a negative impact on patient safety were related to the Organization of the ICU, training professionals in patient safety and workloads.

This interesting study explores factors which remain still unexplored and which require to be taken into account in the management of the health risk. New tools are required to detect early symptoms of dysfunction in the psychological well-being of the professionals and we need support individual and organizational strategies.

The international project “Perceived Stressors in Intensive Care Units (PS-ICU)” led by Professor Gilles Capellier, from University Hospital of Besançon and Alexandra Laurant from University Franche-Comté is consistent with this research.

This International Network Team, in which members of the IC-HU Project participate, consists of researchers from France, Italy, Ireland, Australia, Canada and Spain. Its main objective is to build and validate an internationally specific scale on stress perceived by ICU professionals and identify those factors with impact on mental health, job satisfaction and quality of care.

Dra. Mari Cruz Martín Delgado (@MCMartinDelgado )