Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

A huddle is a short, stand-up meeting — 10 minutes or less — that is typically used once at the start of each workday in a clinical setting. In inpatient units, the huddle takes place at the start of each major shift.

In ambulatory surgery centers, huddles occur once per day in each unit (for example, with the operating room staff). In primary care, staff can huddle in the morning to discuss scheduled patients as a team.

The huddle gives teams a way to actively manage quality and safety, including a review of important standard work such as checklists. Often, standard work will be the output of previous quality improvement projects, and huddles provide a venue to ensure process improvements stick. Huddles enable teams to look back to review performance and to look ahead to flag concerns proactively.

For more information about using huddles as part of a quality management system, see the Sustaining Improvement IHI White Paper.


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