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Table 1 Identified crises and their main characteristics

From: Human resource crises in German hospitals—an explorative study

Crisis Main characteristics
Staff shortages • Limitation of certain skills within the HR market
  • Applicants do not meet requirements for advertised positions
  • Vacant positions cannot be filled
  • Lack of staff restricts operations
  • Service plans cannot be ensured, and patients must be sent away
Acute loss of personnel following a pandemic • A pandemic refers to a quickly spreading infection spanning a large area
  • Hospitals are particularly affected by pandemics because:
  ➢ Larger workload due to increasing number of patients
  ➢ Employees are exposed to and affected by the pandemic reducing the number of effective staff
  • Spontaneous pandemic can result in a lack of personnel
Damage to reputation, internal information is made public • Distribution of internal information regarding the hospital
  • Rumours are inflated and misrepresented
  • Results in unrest among employees
  • Rumours impart a negative light on hospital operations and future recruiting of skilled employees
Insufficient communication during restructuring • Within restructuring measures, it is understood that organizational and financial measures will be required to reinstate the performance capacities of insolvent companies
  • Measures are often not sufficiently communicated to those both directly and indirectly affected
  • Those affected are not included in communications regarding restructuring
  • Resentment among employees can lead to decreased motivation
Bullying • Bullying causes conflict-ridden communication within a team where a victim is systematically directly/indirectly attacked from antagonists over a period of time
  • A senior staff member is accused to be a suspect
  • Accusations result in a burden for other hospital staff
  • Can lead to a rise in staff sick leave
Misuse of drugs by a superior • There is misuse of medication in the hospital setting
  • These may also be misuse or use of alcohol or other drugs
  • An employee in leadership position or senior physician is affected
  • The first signs of an addiction are noticed
  • This leads to mistrust and decreased respect for the victim