Safety Briefings Tool

Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


Health care organizations use Safety Briefings to help increase staff awareness of patient safety issues, create an environment in which staff share information without fear of reprisal, and integrate the reporting of medication safety issues into daily work. Over time, Safety Briefings help organizations create a culture of safety, reduce the risk of medication errors, and improve quality of care. The tool includes step-by-step instructions for conducting Safety Briefings, a data collection form, and a pre- and post-survey to evaluate the effectiveness of the tool.



Safety Briefings for patient care units were developed to increase safety awareness among front-line staff and to help develop a culture of safety. Like the safety briefings used in aviation and other industries, use of this tool incorporates discussions of safety into the daily routine, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In connection with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Idealized Design of the Medication System (IDMS) project, Patient Safety Collaboratives, Summits, and other programs, hundreds of health care organizations have tested this tool. Originally tested on hospital inpatient care units, Safety Briefings are now being used in other hospital departments such as pharmacies and post-anesthesia care units, and in other health care settings, such as home health care and long-term care facilities.



The Safety Briefing tool contains:

  • Overview
  • Background
  • Using the Model for Improvement to Test Safety Briefings
  • How to Conduct Safety Briefings
  • Safety Briefing Data Collection Sheet
  • Pre- and Post-Safety Briefing Evaluation

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