To describe the current state of the science for operating room (OR) briefings and debriefings, including an overview of key definitions, a review of the evidence of effectiveness, and a summary of our experiences as part of a comprehensive unit–based safety program.
Use of preoperative briefings has been shown to improve team communication, decrease disruptions to surgical workflow, improve compliance with antibiotic and deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, and improve overall perceptions about the safety climate in the OR. Studies have demonstrated that an effective briefing can be performed in less than 2 minutes and reduce delays by more than 80%. Effective implementation involves changing workflows and expectations of interaction among OR team members, including participation from leaders at all levels. Briefings and debriefings are a strategy for revealing defects and facilitating adaptive change in the OR.
Conclusions and Relevance
Briefings and debriefings are a good method for improving teamwork and communication in the OR. Effective implementation may be associated with improved patient outcomes. Commitment by the participating providers is essential for effective briefings, which include discussion of relevant information pertaining to the procedure.