Experts look back at the impact of a global surgical safety checklist

May 24, 2018, Wiley

A new BJS (British Journal of Surgery) article examines the past decade since the Safe Surgery Saves Lives Study Group at the World Health Organization introduced a surgical safety checklist. The 19-item checklist was designed to improve team communication and consistency of care, with the goal of reducing complications and deaths associated with surgery.

The article notes that numerous studies have evaluated both the impact of the checklist and challenges in its implementation. In the 10 years since the launch of the checklist, surgical teamwork and communication have improved, as have outcomes for patients. It is important that the checklist is used effectively as part of safe surgical systems, not as a simple tick box exercise to be completed by rote.

"Use of a surgical has moved from a good idea to standard of care, yet this seemingly simple safety tool is remarkably difficult to implement. This is particularly true in settings with poor resources and weak management systems; however, those hospitals are the ones that could potentially benefit the most," said co-author Dr. Thomas Weiser, of the University of Edinburgh, in the UK. "Many people are working to promote its appropriate adoption and use worldwide."

Explore further: South Carolina hospitals see major drop in post-surgical deaths with safety checklist

More information: T. G. Weiser et al, Ten years of the Surgical Safety Checklist, British Journal of Surgery (2018). DOI: 10.1002/bjs.10907

Related Stories

South Carolina hospitals see major drop in post-surgical deaths with safety checklist

April 17, 2017
South Carolina saw a 22 percent reduction in post-surgical deaths in hospitals that completed a voluntary, statewide program to implement the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist.

Surgical checklists save lives

November 15, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Using checklists to improve work practices has long been normal in the aviation and oil industry. Checklists are now also implemented worldwide in the operating room.

Surgical checklist can help prevent life-threatening infections in low resource settings

October 23, 2017
Preventing infections after a surgical procedure is important in any setting, but these complications can be particularly dangerous to surgical patients in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). To address the situation, ...

Refusing access to surgery recovery area at a UK hospital unless WHO Safe Surgery Checklist is fully complete

May 27, 2016
New research showing that refusal to allow surgery teams to take the patient to the recovery room after surgery unless the full WHO Safe Surgery Checklist has been complete is a highly effective way to improve use of the ...

The safe surgery checklist could save more lives worldwide than any other single known intervention

June 1, 2015
New research presented at this year's Euroanaesthesia meeting in Berlin suggests that the WHO-approved safe surgery checklist is working well in both high-income and developing countries. The study is by Dr Janet Martin and ...

Clemson researcher touts surgical safety checklist to save lives

March 27, 2014
Clemson University research assistant professor Ashley Kay Childers has been selected to participate in a forum to discuss quality improvement programs in U.S. hospitals that reduce preventable readmissions, prevent medical ...

Recommended for you

First major study comparing robotic to open surgery published in The Lancet

June 21, 2018
The first comprehensive study comparing the outcomes of robotic surgery to those of traditional open surgery in any organ has found that the surgeries are equally effective in treating bladder cancer. The seven-year study, ...

Antibodies may predict transplant rejection risk

June 19, 2018
The presence of certain antibodies in patients may suggest a higher risk of transplant rejection across multiple organ types, including the kidney, liver, heart and lungs, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine.

First human test of robotic eye surgery a success

June 18, 2018
Researchers from the University of Oxford have completed the first successful trial of robot-assisted retinal surgery.

Surgical blood transfusions tied to clot risk

June 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Blood transfusions around the time of surgery may raise your risk for dangerous blood clots, researchers say.

Tonsil and adenoid removal associated with respiratory, allergic and infectious disease

June 7, 2018
Tonsil and adenoid removal associated with long-term risks of respiratory, allergic and infectious diseases Removing tonsils and adenoids in childhood increases the long-term risk of respiratory, allergic and infectious diseases, ...

Clues found to early lung transplant failure

May 21, 2018
Among organ transplant patients, those receiving new lungs face a higher rate of organ failure and death compared with people undergoing heart, kidney and liver transplants. One of the culprits is inflammation that damages ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.