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Surgical briefing awareness campaign a big success

Safe Surgery NZ
28 June 2019

Over 60 surgical teams across New Zealand participated in the 'spend five to save lives' surgical briefing awareness day yesterday.

A start-of-list briefing is a five-minute discussion with the whole surgical team to create greater understanding about what needs to happen for each operation that day.

Many participating teams reported that the morning briefing had a significant and positive impact on patient safety by improving communication and teamwork, reducing delays, and identifying potential risks prior to surgery.

One team shared that ‘when completed properly we can save a lot of time during our list.’

‘I wouldn’t be without doing a briefing, it would be like driving a car without my seat belt on!’ said another participant.

Initial results show that while 17 percent of participating teams don’t usually hold surgical briefings, this exercise has encouraged them to make briefings a regular part of their day.

‘Briefing and checklist techniques complement each other, build teamwork, improve communication and reduce errors,’ says Professor Ian Civil, clinical lead for Safe Surgery NZ.

‘This is important because patient safety is improved when teams communicate well and work well together.’

Participating teams can fill out a survey by July 5 to go into the draw to win a catered morning tea for their team.

For more information and resources about start-of-list briefings click here.