Transparent health care

In times of live or die questions, country comparisons are informative. It is the time to endorse, again and again, complete transparency to facilitate learning across borders (see recently The Guardian 13.5.2020). China has not been very transparent at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemia. Other countries should not follow this track in terms of lack transparency. This appies equally to transparency of hospital and care professionals doing amazing jobs in these critical times. No doubt about this. In order to learn about the need for qualified employees in this crisis, I recommend the full thread of the tweets from “Mary Poppins” on what it means to administer a respiratory machine to a patient.


The experience needed, the understanding of medical processes are only part of the story. Stress, mental overload, burn-out due to long-term shift-work and irregular working hours including frequent (unpaid?) overtime and lack of sufficient training may cause more fatalities than would otherwise be the case. Teamwork across shifts and weekends has to be effectively coordinated. Medication profiles need to updated and understood for adequate application from all team members not only the medical doctor or shift supervisor. In emergency situations panic control mechanism also are relevent features that have to be learned and experienced. In a previous analysis of data from 18.000 nurses in Canada we could provide evidence of the importance of some of these measures. Transparency is key. Cover-ups of past failures cost dearly in this global pandemia.  Full paper.
http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/gjhs/article/view/0/38574

Health and Care

Some surveys in the social sciences remain a reference due to their interesting scope of questions included. The Canadian National Survey of the Work and Health of Nurses is such a survey since they “dared” to ask a representative sample of 18.000 nurses, health care workers and care assistants questions including medication errors, fall injuries, and complaints of older adults in Canada. The study by Zafar Mehdi, Ramzi Nasser, Hildegard Theobald and myself reveals the importance of further training and sufficient staffing to prevent medication errors, fall injuries and other complaints of patients. DOI: 10.5539/gjhs.v11n3p111

Besides the interesting results of this study based on a little used data set, the study should encourage and reward transparency of medical practices and analyses (relevant in #Covid-19). Hopefully many other studies, ideally with longitudinal designs, will build on this interesting kind of data collection. Evidence-based human resource policies should not stop in front of hospitals and care institutions. Unfortunately, such sensitive data are still rarely collected, although conclusions are helpful for nurses, patients and society as a whole.

The Link to the paper in the Global Journal of Health Sciences and the download is free of charge here.  For science policy it is interesting to notice that the paper was part of a self-financed Ph.D. of Zafar Mehdi, accepted at the University of Vechta recently.