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  • Chuck Reece

The importance of the Debrief to Patient Safety


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.


Yesterday we discussed how Safety Briefs help start our day with a purposeful focus on safety. Today's Fundamental Five tool is the daily Debrief. A Debrief is a short, structured time at the end of the day/shift conducted in front of the learning board for the purpose of celebrating achievement/success, identifying opportunities/challenges, and evaluating our performance as a team. This can be done by candidly answering three simple questions:

1. What went well?

2. What could have gone better?

3. What did we learn?


The answers to these three questions help us:

  • Identify opportunities to recognize/celebrate both individual and team contributions, accomplishments, and progress

  • Identify opportunities for (and/or barriers to) improved systems, processes, and outcomes

  • Gain new knowledge, experiences, and perspective about how to safely and effectively care for/serve the people of our communities


Also, a great place to do the daily debrief with your team is gathered at your departmental learning board. This allows you to add or update ideas, concerns, and questions on your board based on daily feedback from your team. This will also help make your Learning Board an effective and dynamic tool for positive change. Stay tuned for more about Learning Boards later this week!


Commit to ending each shift/day well with an effective and meaningful Debrief.


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


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