Safety Huddles

Originating in the nuclear power and aviation industries, safety huddles are used in 'critical safety' environments as a forum to discuss potential or existing safety problems. In health care they can be used at the beginning of the day or shift where leaders and key team members briefly meet to discuss priorities for the day, as well as in response to a serious safety event or potential event (a near-miss). The purpose of a safety huddle is to asses why an event occurred and to prevent it from happening again.

In 2014 the Centre for Applied Nursing Research (CANR) began working with Mr Brian Lane, Nurse Unit Manager of the Rehabilitation Unit at Camden Hospital to evaluate the impact of a nurse-led multidisciplinary, patient-centred post-fall huddle program on repeat falls and near-miss falls. The huddle has resulted in not only a reduction in falls and near-misses but staff have taken the huddle concept and implemented this following adverse medication events, skin tears and other areas of safety, demonstrating the transferability of this intervention.

With the support of Nursing and Midwifery Strategy Reserve Funding, two DVDs have been produced for patient/carer and staff education.

Re-enactment of a Safety Huddle – 'An example of a Safety Huddle for Falls and Near Miss Falls'
Safety Huddle for Falls and Near Miss Falls – Explanation of a Safety Huddle

The huddle project won the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) Quality Award (Improvement in Patient Safety) in 2015, and received a Highly Commended in the 2015 Australian Council on Healthcare Standards Annual Quality Improvement Awards (Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety).

The project is published on the Agency for Clinical Innovation Information Exchange website -

Safety Huddle Image

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