Debrief

Reflect as a team with a Debrief.

Just as a brief can prepare your team for the work ahead, holding a debrief after the end of a shift, procedure or emergent event like a patient code can help you reflect on your performance as a team. It doesn't matter if all went according to plan, or if everything that could go wrong did go wrong—coming together for a debrief can help the team process what happened and identify what went well, what could be improved and one thing to do differently next time.

What is a Debrief?

See It In Action

 
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Try this during your next debrief...

Even if there’s a whole laundry list of things that could have gone better, identify just one area of improvement. The team will be less overwhelmed if they can put their energy towards one goal rather than trying to implement several changes at once.

 
Question 1 of 2
After a lengthy and difficult procedure, the team is exhausted and ready to head home to rest.
Yes

Good job! A debrief is most effective when the experience is fresh in everyone’s minds, and taking the time to reflect on your work as a team will help you make incremental improvements with each successive debrief.

No

Actually, a debrief is most effective and valuable when the experience is fresh in everyone’s minds. Even if you don’t feel like it, taking the time to reflect on your work as a team will help you make incremental improvements with each successive debrief.

Submit
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Question 2 of 2
Your team performed a procedure flawlessly, and as their leader, you don't have any recommendations for improvement.

Do you hold a debrief anyway?

Yes

That's right! Even if you can't identify anything to improve or do differently next time, you can still use the debrief as a chance to praise your team for their performance and boost morale. And who knows? Maybe another team member has an idea for how something could improve.

No

Not quite. Even if you can't think of anything that could have gone better, you should still use the debrief as a chance to recognize your team for a job well done. It's also possible that another team member has an idea for how something could improve.

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Put It Into Practice
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Help this code team hold a successful debrief.

What is missing from this debrief?

They didn't go over what went well.

Close! It's important to start off the debrief on a positive note, and this team only dwelled on the negative. But that's not the only problem with this debrief.

The debrief didn't have a clear leader.

You're on the right track! Without a clear leader, this debrief didn't have a clear structure where they could discuss what went well, what could be improved and the one thing they'll do differently next time. But there's more to the story than that.

They didn't identify how the team could improve.

Almost! It's true that while this team was able to identify plenty of things that went wrong, they didn't identify one thing to improve next time. But that's not the only thing wrong with this debrief.

All of the above.

Great job! Not only was this debrief missing a leader, but the team didn't have an organized discussion about what went well, what could improve and what they could do differently next time. As a result, they only focused on the aspects of the code that went badly.

Submit

What’s the best way to frame this debrief to concentrate on one critical area for improvement?

Start the debrief on a positive note with what went well, then let the discussion of areas for improvement lead into the most important thing to do better next time.

That's right! This is the most effective way to frame your team's debrief to encourage quality improvement and psychological safety.

Begin the debrief with the most important item to improve. Then discuss positive points and give kudos to team members afterwards.

Not exactly. It's important to begin on a positive note to encourage psychological safety. Then the debrief can move to areas for improvement.

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How to Hold a Successful Debrief

Consider these strategies when implementing debriefs in your workplace.

 
 

Keep the debrief short and sweet.

Just like briefs and huddles, a debrief should be short and sweet. Go over the essentials, but don’t keep your team longer than is necessary.

 
 

Encourage input from the whole team.

Welcome and encourage input from every team player, even if you have to call on individuals to get them involved. This will lead to a culture where people feel comfortable speaking up at any moment when patient safety is a concern.

 
 

Bring in key players.

Involve all the necessary personnel in your debriefs. If someone can't attend, make sure you have a process in place for communicating the information to them.

 
 

Focus on the positive.

Always start with items that went well. Focusing on the bright spots will ensure what went well can be replicated next time.

 
 

Involve patients and families.

Consider including the patient and their family to provide feedback at the end of an appointment, hospital stay or procedure.

 

Use a debrief to discuss what went well, what could improve, and what to do differently next time.

Debrief Module - Brief | Huddle | Debrief

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