Spend five to save lives

Surgical briefing resource toolkit

The following resources highlight the evidence for undertaking briefings, the benefits, and how-to undertake a start-of-list briefing. You will also find promotional resources, such as posters, to use as a prompt within your hospital. To read more about the surgical briefing awareness day held in June 2019 click here.

What is a briefing?

Publication: Surgical briefing case studies 
Publication: Surgical briefing poster 
Publication: Surgical briefing brochure 
The following videos talk about the benefits of introducing start-of-list surgical briefings, how they are held at Counties Manukau Health, the benefits of surgical briefing and how briefings support practical decision-making. 

Surgical briefings are an efficient way to start the day


How surgical briefings are held at Counties Manukau Health


What are the benefits of surgical briefings?


Surgical briefings support practical decision-making

Speaking up / actively listening for patient safety

These animated videos talk about the importance of speaking up and actively listening for patient safety.


Actively listening for patient safety



Speaking up for patient safety

Counties Manukau Health safe surgery posters

Two methods used by Counties Manukau Health to make sure the start-of-list briefing and surgical safety checklist are used correctly.

The rules are simple:

  1. The consultant must be at the start-of-list briefing at 7:30am – doing operations is our core business.
  2. Introductions – names and roles need to be written on the whiteboard all day.
  3. A huddle takes place at 8:10am.
  4. Never start briefings early, never start briefings late.

The main thing is to break down barriers so that everyone helps the surgeon to not make a mistake.

A change process used to implement the surgical checklist was:

  1. have a good idea
  2. find a natural leader
  3. educate
  4. reward good behaviour
  5. ignore dinosaurs.

Start-of-list and surgical safety checklist posters from Counties Manukau Health

These three short videos are of surgical team members discussing why they have found briefings helpful and the benefits they have seen as a result.


Teamwork & communication video: Interview 1


Teamwork & communication video: Interview 2


Teamwork & communication video: Interview 3

Evidence for briefings

Evidence for the use of briefings can be found in the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s publication: Checklists, briefings and debriefings: An evidence summary


Checklists, briefings and debriefings: An evidence summary 

How to undertake a briefing

Watch a short video of Professor Ian Civil leading a briefing.


Teamwork & communication video: Briefing


Surgical safety checklist posters

surgical safety checklist posters

Last updated 21/08/2020