Debriefing after critical incidents in rural and remote healthcare settings – a remote clinician perspective


name here
John Floridis1
BMBS(Hons) BPharm FACRRM FRACGP FARGP MTrauma(Hons) DCH GCCE JCCA, Rural Generalist, GP-Anaesthetist and Advanced Emergency Medicine Trainee, Gove Hospital; and Senior Lecturer, Flinders University *


1 Emergency Department, Gove District Hospital, Matthew Flinders Way, Nhulunbuy, NT 0880, Australia; and College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia

ACCEPTED: 21 November 2022

early abstract:

Debriefing following a critical incident allows teams to reflect on the experience and work together to improve future performance. Hot, warm and cold debriefs occur at various stages following the incident – each with its own structure and objectives. Effective debriefing requires training and practice, with a variety of tools available for this purpose. Healthcare professionals working in rural and remote areas face a variety of unique barriers that may make debriefing challenging not encountered by colleagues in urban settings. A case example illustrates the complexities of a critical incident in a remote service. Evidence-based strategies are outlined to support team members in rural and remote areas to debrief effectively, including the use of technology, formal teaching in university curriculums and regular practice via simulation.