How Canadians Learn from Coronavirus Experiences

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a wave of transformation in the Canadian medical environment and the professional lives of healthcare workers. Rapid implementation of improved personal protective equipment, obligatory symptom monitoring for staff and patients, and expanded work-from-home practices are only a few examples.

An After Action Review (AAR) is a mechanism used by the World Health Organization (WHO) for healthcare emergencies to helping organize a reflective process. It is a systematic, qualitative analysis of the activities taken during the response to recognizing best practices, limitations, and experience gained.

More specifically, it is not meant to evaluate individual accomplishments or competencies, but rather to recognize functional issues that must be resolved and the best strategies that must be implemented.

An AAR can be implemented in a variety of ways, ranging from multi-day institutional retreats to brief interviews with specific people. During the interviews, the main questions included “What was expected to happen?”, “What went well and why?”, and “What can be changed and how?”.

Furthermore, AARs should at least be performed with staff or volunteers who work collectively, a minimum of one two-hour consultation, and facilitators from outside the community to produce the most valuable outcomes for pandemic learnings.

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