Collegial Help (KoHi)

The Collegial Help (KoHi) project was launched at the Hietzing Clinic in Vienna in 2019. This project is a flagship project in the German-speaking world, as it is the first systematic peer support system for supporting colleagues at Hietzing Hospital. The KoHi project is scientifically supported by the Wiesbaden Institute for Healthcare Economics and Patient Safety (WiHelP).

More specifically, it is about supporting colleagues who are affected by the second victim phenomenon (SVP) and are therefore emotionally or psychologically burdened. The second victim phenomenon describes the emotional or psychological state of emergency experienced by medical staff following an unexpected incident in the course of patient care (e.g. unexpected death, incident involving patient harm or aggressive behaviour by patients or relatives). The KoHi project was founded to counteract the effects of the SVP and thus ensure high-quality care.

Firstly, a survey of staff at the Hietzing Clinic was carried out for the project in order to find out the prevalence and symptom burden, as well as preferred support measures. In the next step, collegial helpers (KoHis) were trained to provide peer support on the one hand and to be able to refer those affected to professional support networks if necessary on the other. The KoHis are offered supervision to ensure their safety. Around 100 KoHis now provide emotional first aid at Hietzing Hospital.

This flagship project has already received several awards.

If you have any further questions about the project, please contact Prof. Dr. Reinhard Strametz, who, as head of the WiHelP Institute, is in charge of the scientific aspects of the project.

  • Gatterer C, Krommer E, Abloescher M, Klemm V, Roesner H, Strametz R, Huf W, Ettl B (2023) Kollegiale Hilfe (KoHi) – Beschreibung des Interventionsprogramms zur Reduktion der Auswirkung belastender Arbeitssituationen im Sinne des Second-Victim-Phänomens bei patientennah tätigem Personal in der Klinik Hietzing, Wien, Österreich (KoHi-II-Studie). Zbl Arbeitsmed .
  • Krommer E, Abloescher M, Klemm V, Gatterer C, Roesner H, Strametz R, Huf W, Ettl B. (2023) Second Victim Phenomenon in an Austrian Hospital before the Implementation of the Systematic Collegial Help Program KoHi: A Descriptive Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 20, 1913.

Cooperating Partners


  • Austrian Patient Safety Award 2021 - in der Kategorie "Mitarbeitersicherheit" durch das ANetPAS (Austrian Network for Patient Safety)
  • Wiener Gesundheitspreis 2021 in der Kategorie "Gesund in Einrichtungen und Organisationen" durch die WiG (Wiener Gesundheitsförderung)
  • 1. Platz - ONGKG Mitgliederpreis 2021 (Österreichisches Netzwerk Gesundheitsfördernder Krankenhäuser und Gesundheitseinrichtungen)