Surgical checklists

Checklists save lives! A major new study in the journal Annals of Surgery shows a 22% reduction in post-surgical deaths when a simple WHO 19-item checklist was used. It wasn’t a true random experiment, but the clear results are still impressive.
“Safety checklists are not a piece of paper that somehow magically protect patients, but rather they are a tool to help change practice, to foster a specific type of behavior in communication, to change implicit communication to explicit in order to create a culture where speaking up is permitted and encouraged and to create an environment where information is shared between all members of the team.”
Alex Haynes
Lead author of the study.
Quoted in a Washington Post story on the study.
One of the authors told the ScienceDaily website that:
“Safety checklists can significantly reduce death in surgery. But they won’t if surgical teams treat them as just ticking a box.”
Atul Gawande

Haynes, A. B., Edmondson, L., Lipsitz, S. R., Molina, G., Neville, B. A., Singer, S. J., Moonan, A. T., Childers, A. K., Foster, R., Gibbons, L. R., Gawande, A. A., and Berry, W. R. (2017). Mortality Trends After a Voluntary Checklist-based Surgical Safety Collaborative. Annals of Surgery, online April 8, 2017, doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000002249

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *