Surgical checklist shown to reduce risk of error by one third

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

January 21, 2009

A study released by the World Health Organization (WHO) last week shows that when implementing the use of their surgical checklist, surgical deaths and complications were lowered by one third, reports The Wall Street Journal Health Blog. The WHO trialed the use of its surgical checklist in eight operating rooms (OR) in hospitals around the world and found that the death rate dropped from 1.5% to .8% and the rate of major complications from surgery fell to 7% from 11%.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, touches on aspects of the checklist that foster better communication in the OR. Taking time to make sure that all members of the operating team are on the same page and can voice any concerns they have proved to be a key part in lowering error rates.

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