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

J Perinatol. 2016 Jun;36(6):415-9. doi: 10.1038/jp.2016.42. Epub 2016 Mar 31.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication Barriers*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Patient Care Team / standards*
  • Peer Review, Health Care / methods*
  • Postnatal Care* / organization & administration
  • Postnatal Care* / standards
  • Quality Improvement