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  • Chuck Reece

Huddle Up for Patient Safety

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Allowing time to regroup, consider, and plan

IT'S PATIENT SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK—We are committed to Patient Safety at Hardin Medical Center. During this week, we wish to enhance our focus even more by reinforcing our commitment to our Fundamental Five. We have asked our leaders to implement these five behaviors, tools, or practices throughout our organization to help build a culture where safety is valued and actively pursued. This helps ensure that HMC is a safe place to receive and provide care.


Sometimes, despite our best planning and preparation, unforeseen changes in demands, resources, and/or circumstances can challenge even the best, most effective teams. Thus, today we want to review a third tool within our "Fundamental Five," The Huddle. Most of us think of football when we hear the word huddle. We think of players pulled together into a tight circle on the field during a game, calling plays and making real-time adjustments based on how the game is going. Similarly, in our hospital, a Huddle is a reactive recovery activity involving multiple people at any time within the work day/shift, which is initiated by the team when:

  • there are significant and/or unforeseen changes in demands, resources, and/or other circumstances of the work day/shift

  • some/all team members perceive an actual or potential threat to safety/performance in meeting their shared goals and objectives.


The Huddle allows the team to regroup, consider alterations to their existing plan(s), and do on-the-spot contingency planning. As stated above, this can be done when an actual threat to safety is already a reality, or when one or more members of the team perceive that a threat is likely to occur. Such anticipated threats could include advance notice of a potential disaster within the community which could cause an influx of patients, a severe weather alert, etc.


Commit to supporting success by calling your team into a Huddle when you perceive safety and/or performance is threatened.


TOGETHER, we are better, stronger, safer. Everyone is vital to patient safety.


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