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Session Details

​The safety huddle has become an important way for hospitals to surface safety concerns affecting patients and the workforce. The best huddles are multidisciplinary, highly structured, brief (15 minutes or less), take place early in the morning, and focus on incidents from the day before and risks to safety in the day ahead.

Is the safety huddle effective? Have organizations grown lax with the process over time? Do these huddles sometimes start to become “just another meeting” or feel like a “box to check off”?

The IHI Virtual Expedition, Building Reliability with Safety Huddles, starting on November 27, 2018 will provide teams with strategies to improve safety huddle processes.

What You’ll Learn

At the end of this Virtual Expedition you will be able to:

  • Identify the components of highly functioning processes for huddles in your facility
  • Identify opportunities to improve communication and collaborating across facility systems
  • Develop a process for adapting the huddle process for your area of work
  • Test and implement improvements using the Model for Improvement
  • Develop a plan to use learnings from huddles for additional improvement throughout your facility

This IHI Virtual Expedition is approved for a total of 5 continuing education credits for nurses and physicians.


Session 1: The Case for Effective Huddles
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 12:00–1:00 PM ET

Session 2: Utilizing Connections in Your System for Improvement
Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 12:00–1:00 PM ET

Session 3: Visual Management: A Key to Success
Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2018, 12:00–1:00 PM ET

Session 4: When to Huddle Up
Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2018, 12:00–1:00 PM ET

Session 5: Huddles in Non-Traditional Groups
Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2018, 12:00–1:00 PM ET


Kathy Duncan Kathy D. Duncan, RN, faculty, IHI, directs IHI Expeditions and manages IHI's work in rural settings. Previously, she provided spread expertise to Project JOINTS, co-led the 5 Million Lives Campaign National Field Team, and was faculty for the Improving Outcomes for High-Risk and Critically Ill Patients Innovation Community. She also served as the content lead for the Campaign's Prevention of Pressure Ulcers and Deployment of Rapid Response Teams areas. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the AHA NRCPR, NQF's Coordination of Care Advisory Panel, and NDNQI's Pressure Ulcer Advisory Committee. Prior to joining IHI, Ms. Duncan led initiatives to decrease ICU mortality and morbidity as the director of critical care for a large community hospital.

Jeffrey M. Simmons, MD, MSc Jeffrey M. Simmons, MD, MSc, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Division Director, Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, and Chief Safety Officer, has practiced as a pediatric hospitalist for 14 years. He has completed post-residency training in research methods, including a master’s degree in epidemiology, and advanced training in quality improvement methods and system-level patient safety principles. During the past decade of transformation at Cincinnati Children’s, Dr. Simmons has been a frontline leader for many key transformation projects including family-centered rounds, rapid adoption of evidence-based practice, population health for children with asthma, and improved inpatient patient safety through improved situation awareness. Institutional situation awareness at Cincinnati Children’s relies heavily on a daily rhythm of huddles that build from unit-level, to site of care level (e.g. inpatient), to a daily whole system operations brief.