Education  |   August 2019
Impact of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist on Patient Safety
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway (A.S.H., E.S.); the Center for Implementation Science, Health Service and Population Research Department, King’s College London, United Kingdom (N.S.); and the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway (E.S.).
  • Submitted for publication May 4, 2018. Accepted for publication January 12, 2019.
    Submitted for publication May 4, 2018. Accepted for publication January 12, 2019.×
  • Address correspondence to Dr. Haugen: Haukeland University Hospital, P.O. Box 1400, 5021 Bergen, Norway. arvid.haugen@helse-bergen.no. Information on purchasing reprints may be found at www.anesthesiology.org or on the masthead page at the beginning of this issue. Anesthesiology’s articles are made freely accessible to all readers, for personal use only, 6 months from the cover date of the issue.
Article Information
Education / Review Article / Patient Safety / Quality Improvement
Education   |   August 2019
Impact of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist on Patient Safety
Anesthesiology 8 2019, Vol.131, 420-425. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002674
Anesthesiology 8 2019, Vol.131, 420-425. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002674
Abstract

The incidence of surgical complications has remained largely unchanged over the past two decades. Inherent complexity in surgery, new technology possibilities, increasing age and comorbidity in patients may contribute to this. Surgical safety checklists may be used as some of the tools to prevent such complications. Use of checklists may reduce critical workload by eliminating issues that are already controlled for. The global introduction of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist aimed to improve safety in both anesthesia and surgery and to reduce complications and mortality by better teamwork, communication, and consistency of care. This review describes a literature synthesis on advantages and disadvantages in use of surgical safety checklists emphasizing checklist development, implementation, and possible clinical effects and using a theoretical framework for quality of provided healthcare (structure—process—outcome) to understand the checklists’ possible impact on patient safety.