Off-the-shelf Checklists rarely work well. They must be customized to local practices. Checklists must be created by the clinicians who will actually use them, and not by administrators or the staff at another hospital.
Collierville, TN (PRWEB) March 18, 2014
According to a study presented at the 2014 American Anesthesiology Conference, surgery is safer when a surgical team uses a safety checklist and the team is more likely to use the checklist when patients know it exists. The study confirms a best practice of LifeWings, a leading patient safety consulting firm that has helped more than 225 healthcare facilities create and implement 400 customized checklists and safety tools.
Patients feel safer - and likely are safer - when they receive a surgical safety checklist and request that their health care providers use it, suggests a pilot study done by Tulane University Hospital. The study, done by the Tulane University Hospital and Clinic, measured the outcomes of the use of the World Health Organization's surgical safety checklist in 104 surgeries. The WHO checklist, created in 2009, includes 26 tasks that should be performed during the three phases of surgery: before anesthesia, before the incision is made and before the patient leaves the operating room. Items on the checklist include reviewing a patient's allergies before administering anesthesia, confirming the surgical site before cutting and making sure sponges and all other surgical instruments are accounted for before wheeling a patient out of the operating room.
For the pilot study, 43 of the 104 patients were given a copy of the checklist prior to their surgery. Compliance by surgical teams on all 26 items on the checklist was measured for both groups. The results, independently verified, revealed checklist compliance was higher for the surgical teams that told their patients about the checklist. In addition to increased safety, there was another benefit; patients in the informed group stated that having the checklist made them feel more comfortable before their surgery.
LifeWings Partners LLC, the leading provider of patient safety improvement programs, has been providing checklist and safety tool development and training since 2001. In the past three years alone LifeWings has helped more than 225 healthcare facilities create and implement 400 customized checklists and safety tools. As pioneers in the use of these safety tools in the healthcare setting, LifeWings leaders have built in the best practice of involving patients, clinicians, physicians, staff, and nurses in the protocol.
Responding to the results of the study, LifeWings’ CEO Steve Harden said, “The research at Tulane confirms what we’ve known for years – people live up to the expectations we have for them. When patients know you have a surgical checklist and ask you about it, the surgical team is more likely to use the entire checklist. That’s why we always show our partner hospitals how to recruit the patient on to the patient safety team by involving them in the safe surgery checklist. ”
Dr. David E. Pitcher, MD, FACS and Chief Medical Officer of UNM Hospital confirmed the value of the LifeWings’ best practices, “I can draw a direct line between the skills (including the use of checklists) we learned in training with LifeWings and the elimination of surgical errors. There is no doubt in my mind those tools were the catalyst.”
LifeWings results in patient safety and quality care.
LifeWings Partners, LLC is a team of physicians, nurses, Toyota-trained Lean experts, healthcare risk managers, astronauts, military surgeons, and flight crews. Our team was the first in the United States to study the best practices of organizations with high reliability, and successfully adapt their strategies for use in healthcare. We have distilled the methodology used in commercial aviation, military aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and cutting-edge manufacturing to assist healthcare organizations create safe, efficient, and high quality hospitals and clinics.