Systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of the World Health Organization surgical safety checklist on postoperative complications

April 30, 2014

Source:  British Journal of Surgery 101/3 pp. 150-8

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Date of publication:  February 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:   This systematic review evaluated current evidence regarding the effectiveness of the World Health Organization (WHO) surgical safety checklist (SSC) in reducing postoperative complications. A meta‐analysis was conducted to quantify the effect of the WHO SSC on any complication, surgical‐site infection (SSI) and mortality. There was a strong correlation between a significant decrease in postoperative complications and adherence to aspects of care embedded in the checklist. The evidence suggested a reduction in postoperative complications and mortality following implementation of the WHO SSC, but this cannot be regarded as definitive in the absence of high quality studies.

Length of Publication:  9 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Do safety checklists improve teamwork and communication in the operating room? A systematic review

January 29, 2014

Source:  Annals of Surgery vol/iss 258/6 pp. 856–871

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Date of publication:  December 2013

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This systematic review aimed to assess the impact of surgical safety checklists on the quality of teamwork and communication in the operating room (OR). The methods for assessing teamwork and communication included surveys, observations, interviews, and 360° assessments. The evidence suggests that safety checklists can improve the quality of OR teamwork and communication, however, when used incorrectly or when individuals do not believe in the process, checklists may have a negative impact on the function of the team. Overall, safety checklists are beneficial for OR teamwork and communication and this may be one device through which patient outcomes are improved.

Length of Publication:  16 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Development and content validation of a surgical safety checklist for operating theatres that use robotic technology

August 29, 2013

Source:  BJU International vol/iss 111/7 pp.1161-74

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Date of publication:  June 2013

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The objective of this study was to identify potential hazards in robot-assisted urological surgery and to develop a checklist to be used in operating theatres with robotic technology. A risk assessment tool, Healthcare Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (HFMEA), was employed in a urology operating theatre with robotic technology in a UK teaching hospital in 2011. A multidisciplinary team identified ‘failure modes’ and potential hazards were rated according to severity and frequency and scored using a ‘hazard score matrix’. HFMEA identified hazards in the operating theatre and this led to the development of a surgical safety checklist.

Length of Publication:  14 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


The surgical safety checklist survey: a national perspective on patient safety

June 24, 2013

Source:  Irish Journal of Medical Science Vol/iss 182/2 pp. 171-176

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Date of publication:  June 2013

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The World Health Organisation recommended practices to ensure the safety of patients worldwide in 2008. This led to the development of the Surgical Safety Checklist (SSC) which Ireland has endorsed. The authors aimed to determine whether the SSC is being implemented and to identify problems associated with its introduction and on-going implementation. They found that it has not been implemented throughout all operating departments in Ireland, but where it has been introduced there has been a perceived positive change in safety culture. The authors state that a formal audit of morbidity and mortality is required.

Length of Publication:  6 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


How to guide to the five steps to safer surgery

January 28, 2011

Source: National Reporting and Learning Service

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Date of publication: December 2010

Publication type: Guidance

In a nutshell: This guide is to be used in the surgery setting by staff involved in the implementation of the Surgical Safety Checklist.  The aim is to build on non-technical skills and existing learning, to improve patient outcomes and healthcare efficienty

Length of publication: 38 pages

Acknowledgement: National Patient Safety Agency


How implementing the surgical safety checklist improved staff teamwork in theatre

June 9, 2010

Source:  Nursing Times, 26 March 2010

Click here to access fulltext

Date of publication:  March 2010

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This article is about the experience of Guys’ and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust in implementing a surgical safety checklist published by WHO.

Length of publication: Webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.

Acknowledgements:  WHO.  Link here to access the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist