The World Health Organization launched a surgical checklist initiative that it says will help improve adherence to evidence-based practices and helps to reduce complications and mortality among patients.
Developed in the Safe Surgery Saves Lives collaboration led by the Boston-based Harvard School of Public Health, the checklist aims to ensure that surgeons and operating teams confirm pre- and post-surgical processes and follow evidence-based guidelines during procedures. Eight hospitals around the world, including the Seattle-based University of Washington Medical Center, participated this year in a pilot review of the checklists effectiveness. The WHO recommends facilities implement the use of its checklist in operating rooms to promote patient safety.
Medical teams complied with proven standards of care 68% of the time after implementing the checklist, according to WHO officials. They announced preliminary results from the pilot study as they released the checklist. The list includes three phasessign in, time out and sign outin which each task must be checked off before the operation can proceed or conclude.
The checklist establishes basic surgical safety standards that can be applied in all healthcare settings worldwide, and it fosters communication among medical staff and patients, said E. Patchen Dellinger, physician and vice chairman of the UWMC department of surgery, who led the pilot effort in his hospital. Working on the checklist was a welcomed opportunity, he said. -- by Jean DerGurahian