Application of the WHO surgical safety checklist outside the operating theatre: medicine can learn from surgery

November 26, 2014

Source:  Clinical Medicine 14/5 pp. 468-74.

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Date of publication:  October 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell: Use of the World Health Organization (WHO) safety checklist for invasive medical procedures is not yet routine. These procedures are becoming ever more complex and involve higher-risk patients, with the need for general anaesthesia on occasion. The potential for error is increasing and the need for a safety checklist is more apparent. The checklist can be modified to provide a framework for specialty-specific safety checks, enhanced team-working and communication for invasive medical procedures. The authors carried out an audit on use of the WHO checklist in 20 cases under general anaesthesia in the quaternary referral cardiac catheterisation laboratory. They discovered use of the safety tool was poor and identified two ‘near miss’ incidents within the audit period. The authors developed and implemented a modified WHO checklist for the specific challenges faced in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory. Following a staff education programme, a subsequent audit of 34 cases demonstrated improvement in all sections with no patient safety incidents during the post-intervention audit period.

Length of Publication:  7 pages


New checklist makes the cardiac catheterisation lab a safer place for patients

July 30, 2014

Source:  The Health Foundation

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Date of publication:  June 2014

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell: A Shine-funded project at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust set out to develop a safety checklist for the cardiac catheterisation laboratory (CCL) in 2013. The World Health Organisation (WHO) safe surgery checklist was used to create the checklist, but it was specifically modified for use in the CCL. Staff liked using the checklist and said they would like one used if they ever needed an intervention themselves. The team achieved 95% implementation of all stages of the checklist. The checklist created a collaborative atmosphere where team members better understood their roles and had more opportunities to raise concerns. Almost 60% of patients noticed staff implementing the checklist and felt safer knowing that it was being used. The team is exploring the possibility of implementing a checklist in emergency scenarios. The British Cardiovascular Society has encouraged national dialogue by publishing new guidance about the use of safety procedure checklists in the CCL.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Identifying and categorizing patient safety hazards in cardiovascular operating rooms

July 30, 2012

Source:  BMJ Quality & Safety

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Date of publication:  May 2012

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This article looks at how an interdisciplinary team, working in cardiac surgery, looked at the patient journey from ward to operating room.  They looked at the way patients are transferred, and handoff after surgery trying to identify potential hazards and opportunities to improve patient safety.

Length of publication:  9 pages

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