Post-Outbreak Debriefing

Once an outbreak has been declared to be cleared or over, it is important that a full debrief of the event is undertaken. As normal operations return, reflect on the response to the outbreak and undertake a review of how the outbreak management practices could be improved.  In order to get good feedback, it is important that the debrief is undertaken in an honest and open way.


Reflection helps by providing an opportunity to

Identify strengths and weaknesses of the outbreak response

Create a formal avenue for resident and employee feedback

Thank the employees for their hard work and contribution to containing and managing the outbreak

Investigate processes to ensure management of future outbreaks is improved

PREVENT future outbreaks


It is important that all employees from all areas can participate in the debrief. If an employee is unable to participate in debriefing, a mechanism should be provided for feedback. 


Focus questions

What were the positive outcomes from the outcome investigation?

What was learned from the investigation, and where can improvements be made?

How successful were the outbreak teams' collaboration and communication?

How useful were the outbreak management guidelines in assisting the investigation?

How can recommendations improve the conduct of future investigations?


Future changes

Findings identified during the debriefing may result in changing needs for the following


Infection control quality improvement plan

Policy and procedure review

Outbreak management plan

Mandatory and ongoing education