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Hana Brborović and Ognjen Brborović

Abstract

Healthcare workers have high rates of injuries and illnesses at the workplace, and both their absence from work due to illness (absenteeism) or working ill (presenteeism) can compromise patient safety and the quality of health care delivered. Following this premise, we wanted to determine whether presenteeism and absenteeism were associated with patient safety culture (PSC) and in what way. Our sample consisted of 595 Croatian healthcare workers (150 physicians and 445 nurses) who answered the short-form WHO Health and Work Performance Questionnaire and the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. The results have confirmed the association with both presenteeism and absenteeism in several PSC dimensions, but not as we expected based on the premise from which we started. Opposite to our expectations, lower job performance (as a measure of presenteeism) was associated with higher PSC instead of lower PSC. Absenteeism, in turn, was associated with lower PSC, just as we expected. These findings suggest that it is the PSC that shapes presenteeist and absenteeist behaviour and not the other way around. High PSC leads to presenteeism, and low PSC to absenteeism. We also believe that the presenteeism questionnaires should be adjusted to health care and better define what lower performance means both quantitatively and qualitatively in a hospital setting

Open access

Hana Brborović, Ognjen Brborović, Vlatka Brumen, Gordana Pavleković and Jadranka Mustajbegović

Abstract

Working as a nurse involves great dedication and sacrifice: working night shifts, working overtime, and coming to work sick. The last is also known as presenteeism. Research has shown that poor nurse performance can affect both caregiver’s and patient’s safety. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether nurse presenteeism affected patient safety culture and to look deeper into the characteristics of nurse presenteeism and patient safety culture in Croatia. The study was conducted in one general hospital in Croatia over April and May 2012 and specifically targeted medical nurses as one of the largest groups of healthcare professionals. They were asked to fill two questionnaires: the six-item Stanford Presenteeism Scale (SPS-6) and the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPSC). We found no association between presenteeism and patient safety culture. Overall positive perception of safety was our sample’s strength, but other dimensions were positively rated by less than 65 % of participants. The lowest positive response concerned “nonpunitive response to error”, which is consistent with previous studies. Presenteeist nurses did not differ in their characteristics from nurses without presenteeism (gender, age, years of experience, working hours, contact with patients and patient safety grades). Our future research will have to include a broader healthcare population for us to be able to identify weak spots and suggest improvements toward high-quality and cost-effective health care.

Open access

Jelena Evic, Gordana Pavlekovic, Lucija Murgic and Hana Brborovic

Abstract

Aim: To gain insight into the trend of career choice for family medicine in Croatia in recent years.

Methods: Six surveys were performed in the academic years 2006/07-2011/12 at the University of Zagreb, School of Medicine. Altogether, 1140 6th year students participated. They anonymously completed a questionnaire containing questions on desired future specialisation as well as other selected characteristics (e.g. gender, desired area and place of work, motivation to study medicine, etc.). Binary logistic regression was used to determine unadjusted and adjusted trends.

Results: After adjustment for selected factors, the relationship between observed outcome and the year of observation showed an evident decreasing trend. The odds for intention to specialise in family medicine were in the academic year 2006/2007 1.43-times higher than in the year 2007/2008 (p=0.412), 1.85-times higher than in the year 2008/2009 (p=0.168), 2.38-times higher than in the year 2009/2010 (p=0.051), 2.63-times higher than in the year 2010/2011 (p=0.027) and 3.85-times higher than in the year 2011/2012 (p=0.003).

Conclusions: The results of the present study offer evidence that Croatia is experiencing a constantly decreasing trend of career choice for family medicine in recent years. It is obvious that final year medical students are not very much interested in working as family practitioners. At the same time, demand for family practitioners in Croatia is increasing. Both academic and professional societies have a social responsibility to reorient the health care system and medical curricula towards comprehensive primary health care in which family medicine has a key role.