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Implementing clinical debriefing programmes
  1. Demian Szyld1,2,3,
  2. Alexander F Arriaga3,4,5,6
  1. 1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Institute for Medical Simulation, Center for Medical Simulation, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3 Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  4. 4 Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5 Ariadne Labs, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  6. 6 Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Demian Szyld, Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; dszyld{at}

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Critical event debriefing (CED) or ‘hot debriefings’ (HoDs) can be described as a trigger-based, immediate postevent, interprofessional, expertly facilitated conversation where clinicians recount, reflect on, and improve personally and as a team.1 The process and experience of clinicians who cared for the patient is more complex and involves thoughts and emotions that go beyond the ‘case’ or ‘resuscitation’ and the debriefing itself.2 The American Heart Association guidelines for neonatal resuscitation highlight ‘team debriefing’ as a key step in their cognitive aid.3 There is evidence that implementing a ‘Cold Debrief’ programme for teams that care for patients in cardiac arrest improves outcomes4 yet in practice 33% of events are routinely debriefed.5 Critical events in anaesthesia are debriefed infrequently and those associated with communication breakdowns were even less likely to be debriefed6. How do we fuel …

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  • Handling editor Ellen J Weber

  • Contributors Both authors contributed equally.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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