A new BJS (British Journal of Surgery) article examines the past decade since the Safe Surgery Saves Lives Study Group at the World Health Organization introduced a surgical safety checklist. The 19-item checklist was designed to improve team communication and consistency of care, with the goal of reducing complications and deaths associated with surgery.
The article notes that numerous studies have evaluated both the impact of the checklist and challenges in its implementation. In the 10 years since the launch of the checklist, surgical teamwork and communication have improved, as have outcomes for patients. It is important that the checklist is used effectively as part of safe surgical systems, not as a simple tick box exercise to be completed by rote.
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