Critical incident stress debriefing after adverse patient safety events

Reema Harrison*, Albert Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Adverse events (AEs) are common, estimated to occur in around 10% internationally. Although preventable harm can be minimized, when AEs occur it is important that they be managed appropriately. AEs can be traumatic not only for patients, their friends, and relatives, but also for the involved clinicians, who have been referred to as "second victims" in a growing body of international research. Despite the frequency with which AEs occur, organizational mechanisms for supporting staff in these circumstances are not routinely embedded in healthcare settings. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) has long been provided for professionals, such as disaster workers, who are exposed to traumatic and high-stress events. CISD is considered an effective strategy to promote resilience and recovery. We explore the potential value of providing CISD for health professionals involved in patient safety-related AEs and discuss the instances in which this could be routinely implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-312
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


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