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Post-event debriefings during neonatal care: why are we not doing them, and how can we start?


Post-event debriefings are a foundational behavior of high performing teams. Despite the inherent value of post-event debriefings, the frequency with which they are used in neonatal care is extremely low. If post-event debriefings are so beneficial, why aren’t they conducted more frequently? The reasons are many, but solutions are available. In this report, we provide practical advice on conducting post-event debriefing in neonatal care. In addition, we examine the perceived barriers to conducting post-event debriefings, and offer strategies to overcome them. Finally, we consider opportunities to foster a culture change within neonatal care which integrates debriefing as standard daily work. By establishing a safety culture in neonatal care that encourages and facilitates effective post-event debriefings, patient safety can be enhanced and clinical outcomes can be improved.

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LPH is supported in part by the Endowment for the Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education (CAPE).

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Correspondence to T Sawyer.

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Sawyer, T., Loren, D. & Halamek, L. Post-event debriefings during neonatal care: why are we not doing them, and how can we start?. J Perinatol 36, 415–419 (2016).

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