• Let’s Talk: Post Critical Incident Debriefing Project

      Wiseman, Tamara L.; Wise, Barbara V. (2020-05)
      Problem and Purpose: Structured debriefings inconsistently occur in a level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Lack of a structured debriefing process negatively impacts provider physical/emotional health and patient outcomes. Lack of debriefing conversations leads to unconstructive feedback and unidentified areas for team and patient outcome improvement. The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project is to implement, the Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety Debriefing Tool (TeamSTEPPS) following high-risk deliveries in infants 22-32-week gestation and emergency/resuscitation codes in a 52 bed, level IV NICU in the mid-Atlantic region. The goal is to facilitate debriefings after 100% of the critical events and enhance positive team communication during debriefings. Methods: The project was implemented for 12 weeks. The population included a multidisciplinary NICU staff. The project involved training staff on the use of the standardized debriefing tool, documenting high-risk deliveries, frequency of debriefing guided by the TeamSTEPPS debriefing tool, and evaluating debriefing outcomes using the REFLECT Tool. The primary QI metrics included the number of staff trained and educated, patient gestational age, high-risk delivery and emergency codes, occurrence of debriefing, debriefings guided by TeamSTEPPS Debriefing Tool, and staff assessment of the debriefings using the REFLECT Tool. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics to identify trends in the percentage of debriefings that occurred following 22-32 weeks gestation deliveries and emergency/resuscitation codes. Results: During implementation phase, twenty percent of the NICU staff were trained/educated in the debriefing process. A total of four debriefings occurred using the TeamSTEPPS Debriefing Tool. Post critical events debriefings increased from one percent to fifteen percent. Team communication, role delineation, and patient stabilization time improved during a subsequent critical event. Conclusions: This QI project demonstrated the feasibility of implementing a structured debriefing tool in a high acuity NICU, to improve team communications and patient outcomes following critical events. Increased nursing and provider staff engagement, and ongoing training would enhance debriefing facilitation. Future considerations include expanding debriefing after all emergent deliveries, including the labor and delivery team, and piloting in smaller NICUs.