117 Enhancing situational awareness through safety huddles – a staff perspective

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Abstract

Background

Evidence from the literature shows that safety HUDDLES (Healthcare Utilising Deliberate Discussion Linking Events) can enhance inter-professional relationships through improved communication, and consequently increases situational awareness among health care professionals. However, very few studies have explored staff perception of these huddles. Our aim was to assess the perspective of front line staff on the impact of daily safety huddles and explore further strategies to improve their delivery, enhancing situational awareness to improve patient safety.

Methods

Safety huddles were implemented on two inpatient wards of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), London, UK. A staff survey was conducted at two time points post initiation of the huddles (18 months and 30 months) to evaluate the perception of staff regarding these huddles. A questionnaire was devised and scored via Likert scales and free text responses.

Results

Staff felt that safety huddles played a crucial part in highlighting patient problems and identifying clinical deterioration on the inpatient wards. It also improved communication amongst the team reducing anxiety and enhanced team cohesiveness

Conclusion

Safety huddles had an extremely positive influence on front line staff. They can be easily implemented in health care setting to increase situational awareness. Considering their positive impact, safety huddles have been introduced to other wards and specialities across GOSH. Huddles have also been included in the RCPCH S.A.F.E programme as one of the most important and core interventions to improve situational awareness.

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