Outbreak debrief template

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Post-Outbreak Debrief/Review

Steps/Issues What worked well? What could work better next time? Recommendations

Initial stage of the outbreak

·        Outbreak detection and surveillance systems (e.g., notification through NESP, PulseNet)

·        Verifying the diagnosis through laboratory analysis (serotyping and PFGE); clinical information

·        Case definitions (define and identify cases)

·        Notification of partners (P/Ts, CDC, use of Public Health Alerts, senior management)


Outbreak Investigation Coordination Committee

Initial Assessment

·        Were partners given enough notice for the initial assessment call?


·        Decision-making and building consensus around activation of OICC?

OICC Calls

·        Were calls held frequently enough?

·        Were the agenda and structure of the calls helpful?

·        Were the calls well-managed?

·        Were the appropriate participants on the call?


Describe and orient the data in person, place and time

·        Were the epi summaries clear, helpful, and distributed in a timely manner?

·        Was the line list easy to understand and complete?

·        Is there a need for alternative methods of information sharing (e.g., web-based line list; databases)


Hypothesis generation/evaluation

·        Develop hypotheses (interviews, interaction with local/provincial partners)

·        Evaluate hypotheses (CDC collaboration, review of hypothesis generating interviews)

·        Refine hypotheses and implement additional studies (analytic study methodology, preparation, questionnaire development, implementation and interviewing, analysis


Food safety investigation (traceback data, risk assessments, recalls, plant investigation, food/environmental sampling)

·        Was the appropriate information shared?

·        Was it clear? Timely?

  • Were the recalls initiated in a timely manner? Were they effective?


Within OICC:

·        Were email updates acceptable and frequent enough?

·        Communications between OICC and senior management

Public communications

·        Decision-making around public communications

Internal documentation


Public Health Measures (what was done, implementation of control and prevention measures)



(declaring the outbreak over, deactivating the OICC, debrief, final report, Outbreak Summaries)

·        Decision-making around declaring the outbreak over and deactivating the OICC

·        How effective was this debrief session? Was it held in a timely manner following the outbreak?

·        Was a final outbreak report prepared and distributed in a timely manner? Epi report format, distribution, translation etc.

·        Has the outbreak been posted to Outbreak Summaries?


Other issues?