Case Management

CMW News: Surgical checklist increases patient safety

Case Management Weekly, January 21, 2009

A new study concludes that a 19-item surgical safety checklist decreased post-surgical complications, deaths, and surgical site infections for non-cardiac patients aged 16 and older in eight hospitals in eight countries.

The checklist was based on safety standards developed by the World Health Organization, which also funded the study.

The institutions that participated in the study were selected based on the goal of representing a diverse set of socioeconomic environments in which surgery is performed. The results of the study suggest that a significant amount of surgery complications and deaths could be reduced if similar checklists were implemented globally.

The checklist, which includes verifying patient identity, surgery site, and procedure, may also help providers avoid certain CMS “never events” for which it does not reimburse hospitals. To view a sample of the checklist, click here.

Sources: HealthLeaders Media, The New England Journal of Medicine

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