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One Brilliant Economic Survival Tool You Can Steal from the World's Best Hospitals

Collierville, TN (PRWEB) July 29, 2014

The Affordable Care Act has created a dramatic threat to the reimbursement model of all hospitals. Studies show that over 400 hospitals probably won’t survive this economic tsunami.[1] One simple, easy, low cost tool that great hospitals use to survive the threat increases their organizational performance by 20 to 25%.

Their secret? Debriefing - the simple process of systematically offering feedback to one anther at the end of an operational event. Debriefing is a standard procedure in military and commercial aviation operations and is credited with contributing to those industries’ successful continuous quality and safety improvements.

A recent study, published in Human Factors, reviewed 46 studies on debriefing from different industries. The research revealed that individuals and teams can increase performance by 20-25% with effective debriefs. Researchers concluded that debriefs are efficient (an average debrief took 2.5 minutes[2]), low-cost, and worthy of an organization’s resources[3]. Because they are so easy, and so effective, many of the best hospitals have already adopted the debriefing tool.

According to Dr. Matthew M. Cooper, Medical Information Director for 3M Health Information Systems, these hospitals have adopted the debriefing systems used by the US Navy Blue Angels and United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (better known as TOPGUN). Both the Blue Angels and TOPGUN credit much of their operational excellence to the practice of debriefing. Dr. Cooper, who has helped many hospitals implement a debriefing process, cites trust, mutual respect, specificity, a focus on improvement, and an egalitarian culture as critical components of successful debriefs.

Like Dr. Cooper, LifeWings - the leading patient safety improvement provider - has been teaching healthcare teams how to implement debriefs for more than 14 years. As the LifeWings system was adopted from the best practices in aviation and TeamSTEPPS, debriefing is an integral part of their multi-phased program. That system has helped hospitals save more than $24 million dollars in the last three years.

An article in the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation Newsletter, “Surgical Team Debriefing and Follow-Up: Creating an Efficient, Positive Operating Room Environment to Improve Patient Safety discusses debriefing results at Memorial Healthcare Systems in Hollywood, FL. Leaders there concluded that “…their surgeries are more efficient and take less time” as a result of improvements discovered and implemented in post-procedure debriefs. These efficiencies have had significant economic benefit for the healthcare system.

Steve Harden, the CEO and founder of LifeWings and a former TOPGUN instructor, stated that, “The research published in Human Factors and the Anesthesia Newsletter confirms what we have seen in hospitals across the U.S. for more than a decade. Adopting a standard debriefing practice saves lives and financial resources. Implementing this tool is a no-brainer for any healthcare leader who needs to substantially improve their operation.”

More information on how to implement effective debriefs can be found at or by calling Steve Harden at 800.290.9314 for a personal consultation.

About LifeWings
LifeWings Partners creates documented, sustainable improvements in cost reduction, efficiency, reliability, safety, and quality by combining the best of Lean and TeamSTEPPS. LifeWings has improved the financial bottom line and patient safety record of over 140 hospitals worldwide. The LifeWings coaching cadre of pilots, astronauts, physicians, nurses and Toyota-trained Lean experts train more than 13,000 administrators, physicians and staff per year. Measurable results are guaranteed in all LifeWings’ initiatives. Documented return on investment for LifeWings projects typically exceeds 300%.

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