Daily Leader Safety Brief: The Power of an Interdisciplinary Team


Paper Presentation

Purpose for the Program

The increasing acuity and complexity of obstetric patients underscores the importance of communication and well-functioning teams, as recommended by The Institute of Medicine (1999) as components of a culture of safety. When communication and teamwork are ineffective, the risk of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality increases. Communication failures were identified by The Joint Commission as the root cause of nearly 80% of the sentinel events reviewed, and are a leading cause of preventable adverse events in healthcare settings. Effective team communication is equally important among interdisciplinary leaders at an organizational level, to ensure quality, patient safety, and seamless operations. Emerging as a best practice, conducting daily leader safety briefs may facilitate such communication.

Proposed Change

To provide an overview of the purpose and goals of conducting daily leader safety briefs.

Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation

The process that the leadership team used to begin conducting daily leader safety briefs in the Pavilion for Women at Texas Children's Hospital will be reviewed, and practical tips for implementing them at other obstetric facilities will be provided. This presentation is appropriate for all disciplines, all leaders, and the content may be applied to any healthcare setting.

Daily leader safety briefs provide a venue to identify and discuss quality, safety, and operational events or concerns that occurred during the previous 24 hours, and facilitate the identification of concerns or threats to patient safety that may occur over the next 12 to 24 hours. To reinforce accountability, leaders are assigned to address and resolve the identified threats and work together as a team to mitigate risks. Leaders report back the next day about how the issue was resolved or what action plan is in place to resolve and sustain the correction.

Implications for Nursing Practice

Daily leader safety briefs can help to maintain situational awareness; promote and model transparency; foster organizational trust; as well as improve interdisciplinary communication, collaboration, and cooperation. By being present together as a leadership team and talking with one another in a proactive manner, leaders can work more effectively together to avoid or resolve problems.