Qualitative Assessment of Hot Debriefs for Code Teams at Seattle Children’s Hospital
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Seattle Children’s Hospital recently implemented ‘hot debriefs’ for code teams that respond to cardiac or respiratory resuscitation code events. Hot debriefs are meetings immediately after the code event where the code team members are able to discuss the details of the event that just transpired. These discussions generally revolve around aspects of the code event that went well as well as those that could be improved upon. Before the implementation of these hot debriefs, no such formal meetings with the entire code team were required. This meant that if any particular code team member did want to discuss a code event, participation was minimal and the meeting would often occur at a much later time such as the following day. Hot debriefs were implemented with the intent of increasing information review and improving the quality of future code events. I assessed the status of these hot debriefs using well-established qualitative research methods and semi-structured interviews with clinicians who participated in them to understand their thoughts and feelings on the new process. I interviewed ten participants (including nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians, etc.) and qualitatively analyzed their responses. Four key themes emerged: the effectiveness of hot debriefs, process formalization, openness of communication, and dissemination of information. For the first theme, the participants unanimously approved of the hot debriefs as a process for increasing information review and improving the quality of code events. However, there were concerns revolving around the other three themes with mixed opinions. This study shows that in order to effectively implement a process such as hot debriefing, one should consider the needs and opinions of the participants themselves.