Use the WHO surgical safety checklist as a medically proven method to increase patient safety and reduce mortality. Learn how to best use the safety checklist and how digitizing your checklists can help.
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Out of the estimated 310 million surgical operations performed annually, the World Health Organization reports that the approximate mortality rate goes as high up as 5% — a statistic that is problematic in light of patient safety.
This is where the surgical safety checklist plays an important role: it is a series of steps that medical practitioners can follow to improve the quality of patient care delivered during anesthesia and surgery and reduce mortality and complication rates . The goal is to see significant improvements in these four areas of surgical care:
The surgery safety checklist serves as a reminder and guide to the accepted safety practices that should be implemented for optimal patient safety.
In a study published by the Committee on Quality of Health Care America and the Institute of Medicine, complications caused by human error or systematic failures during health procedures have been known to result in more deaths in the United States every year than traffic accidents and breast cancer. More specifically, a systematic review suggests that a whopping 43% of missteps happen right within the operating room, and over one million deaths happen because of complications — half of which are avoidable.
Because the need for surgical safety remains of utmost importance, the “World Health Organization’s Safe Surgery to Save Lives” initiative released the surgery safety checklist to reduce the percentage of surgical deaths globally. The checklist establishes a set of safety checks to be performed before, during, and after a surgical procedure using simple, easy-to-follow steps.
When properly implemented, it can minimize preventable risks and save the lives of more surgical patients through improved communication and team dynamics during surgical operations.
There are ten essential objectives for the implementation of the surgical safety checklist. All of which apply to all World Health Organization member states and their respective healthcare systems.
Overall, it addresses procedures related to:
A systematic review shows that the surgical safety checklists have positive impacts in reducing patient complications and mortality in the operating room and post-surgery when properly implemented. That’s why incorporating the world health organization's surgical safety checklist into your current procedures is vital.
Here are three easy steps on how you can do it.
First things first, your team needs to understand the tool, how it works, and why you need it. The checklist is only as effective as the commitment of the people who use it, so your team must be fully on board with the checklist implementation. You can reinforce this in three ways:
Once you’ve identified the key people in the initiative, the next step is to customize it according to what your patients and facility need. Here’s how you can do it:
When your checklist has passed your simulations with flying colors, you’re ready to execute. As your team integrates the WHO surgical safety checklist, make it a point to provide coaching and feedback where needed. The goal is to achieve as close to 100% accuracy in all surgical procedures and establish a sustainable process that will benefit your patient significantly in the long run.
Through Lumiform, you can digitize your surgical safety checklists so your team can have full accessibility, whether offline or online. Because we understand that patient safety is your priority, we make data consolidation and tracking easier. Through our software, you can get the information you need using your smartphone or tablet. Valuable information is right at your fingertips anytime and anywhere.
But that’s not all; a digitized checklist will let you and your team enjoy the following benefits: