EUSEM Board Election Results

We are pleased to announce the results of EUSEM Board Election.

We would like to congratulate Dr Robert Leach elected as President-Elect, Dr Diana Cimpoesu elected as Honorary Treasurer, Dr Niccolò Parri elected as Vice president and Dr Tatjana Rajkovic elected as Honorary Secretary.

The newly elected board members will take their positions following the ratification of the General Assembly on 19 September.


EM 2023 Day Thank you for your support

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in this year’s campaign. As you can see from the infographic, we had a global outreach of over 120 Million people across 6 continents, coming from 159 countries.
A big thank you to the national societies, international organisations and patient organisations for their support for this campaign, as well as to the individual EM doctors, nurses, paramedics and the general public who helped to create great awareness of patient safety in the ED. There were many activities taking place on May 27, from symposia to festivals to fun runs!
The results of an international survey, published in the European Journal of Emergency Medicine to coincide with EM Day, found that professionals felt that neither themselves nor their patients were safe enough in Emergency Departments. The staff felt under-supported by their hospital managements and did not have the right tools to provide adequate care. They also felt they were under too much pressure to meet external targets at a time when the whole EM system is under strain. We once again highlighted the issue of an overworked workforce trying to manage patients in failing healthcare systems that do not tackle the problem of patient safety but instead add unnecessary risk.
We will be publishing a paper analysing the results by country in the near future. We hope that societies will use this information to continue the campaign at national level.
There needs to be a recognition that Emergency Medicine is not simply the gateway to other departments. It is well known that patients who are treated quickly have a better outcome. Overcrowding needs to be addressed by better coordination and communication between different departments. Patients deserve a healthy workforce that is neither overtired, nor mentally drained.
We advocate for healthcare systems, governments, the general public and policymakers to support our emergency medical services and make the changes necessary to create an environment where patients and EM healthcare professionals feel safe.
We look forward to next year’s campaign where we hope to have an even larger engagement and a bigger impact! Thank you once again, and see you next year!
Dr Roberta Petrino   
EM Day Working Group Chair
Dr Luis Castrillo
EM Day Working Group Co-Chair


EM Day international survey on patient safety published in the European Journal of Emergency Medicine

For EM-Day 2023 we conducted 3 surveys about safety, for patients/general public, for professionals and for patient organisations. 

The survey (1) included 1256 responses from 101 different countries; 70% of respondents were from Europe.  Among respondents, 80% reported that monitoring devices were available, and 74% reported that protocols for high-risk medication and for triage (66.19%) were available in their ED. The area of greatest concern was the disproportionate imbalance between needs and the availability of staff at times of greatest flow, considered sufficient by only 22%  of doctors and 20%  of nurses. Other critical issues were overcrowding due to boarding and a perceived lack of support from hospital management. Despite these difficult working conditions, 83% of the professionals said they were proud to work in the ED. This survey highlighted that most health professionals identify the ED as an environment with specific safety issues. The main factors appeared to be a shortage of personnel during busy periods, overcrowding due to boarding, and a perceived lack of support from hospital management. The results were published in the European Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Dr Jim Connolly, EUSEM president writes in his editorial (2): "Amongst the headline results the authors found that about 90% of professionals feel that at times the number of patients in their ED exceeded the capacity of the department to provide safe care and that overcrowding was currently a regular, serious problem. Overcrowding is not just an issue of discomfort or loss of dignity but adds to inefficiency and carries a substantial risk of harm and increased mortality"

Read further:

(1) Patient safety in emergency departments: a problem for health care systems? An international survey

(2) With safety in mind


Press Release: Are Emergency Departments unsafe? Patients and professionals think so

Emergency departments (EDs) are currently unsafe places for both professionals and patients, according to the results of an international survey carried out for the European Society of Emergency Medicine (EUSEM) and published today (26th  May) in the European Journal of Emergency Medicine1. The main reasons for this are staff shortages and overcrowding due to the non-availability of beds in wards necessitating the provision of care in corridors. Respondents to the survey also felt that they had insufficient support from hospital management.

Around 90% of professionals surveyed felt that at times the number of patients in ED exceeded the capacity of the department to provide safe care, and that such overcrowding was a regular problem. In addition to causing patient and professional discomfort and impeding their ability to provide care, overcrowding is known to carry a substantial risk of harm and increased mortality.

The preliminary findings of a survey among patients, yet to be published, were even more alarming. More patients thought that ED staff were ‘angry’ or ‘rude’ than were kind. This is likely to be caused by exhaustion and frustration, says an accompanying editorial2 from EUSEM President Dr James Connolly ‘given that the vast majority of those responding to the survey of professionals said that they were proud to work in an ED.’ Amongst responses received a typical response was “There were a lot of patients and very few doctors. Some nurses were very stressed.”

Indeed, nurses who responded to the survey felt less safe than did doctors, particularly with regards to the environment in which they had to treat patients with mental health problems. Since in general they work with patients for longer periods of time, this is understandable, but nonetheless troubling, say the researchers.

“Last year’s EUSEM survey into burnout among ED professionals was worrying enough,” says Dr Connolly, “showing as it did that younger and less experienced EM professionals were more likely to be affected than older, more experienced staff. It is very disquieting to see this pattern repeated, and completely unacceptable that so little action has been taken to remedy it. If anything, the situation appears to be worse than before.” This is especially important, as In many EDs the majority of professionals are still junior and therefore at greater risk of burnout, and so in greater need of supervision to protect both themselves and their patients.

Although targets have been advantageous in bringing about  improvements in the past, the current feedback from ED staff shows that, when systems are under significant strain, they feel pressurised by the imposition of such external targets, and that they believe this could cause patient care to suffer. Some 54.2% said they were permanently under external pressure. Support from hospital management was also perceived to be inadequate; 35% of professional responders responding that hospital managers never supported the introduction of improvements, and 47% thinking that procedures for improving flow in the ED were never effective.

Alarmingly, some patients surveyed felt so concerned about their safety in the ED that they said they would prefer not to go there at all, believing that overcrowding, long waiting times, and exhausted staff would lead to medical errors.

“Dedicated professionals need the right environment and support in which to carry out their work, and patients need to feel reassured that they will get the best treatment. Currently we are far from that being the case. Governments and healthcare authorities must remedy this now, before the situation worsens further when it may become too late to arrest the spiral of decline,” says Dr Connolly.

DOI 10.1097/MEJ.0000000000001044

DOI 10.1097/MEJ.0000000000001048

Further information:

Davi Kaur

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