Study: Surgical Checklists Require Training to Achieve Surgeon, Anesthesiologist Compliance

Surgical checklists are most effective when all members of the surgical team are required to identify themselves and participate in the checklist process, according to a study from researchers at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, reported in Anesthesiology News.

The surgical safety checklist comes from the World Health Organization (available here). Researchers from Virginia Mason sought to determine whether team building in the surgical suite improved after the hospital implemented the WHO preprocedural checklist. An independent observer was assigned to score team members' participation in 31 ORs and record whether team members stopped what they were doing, identified themselves and discussed concerns prior to surgery.

The observations found that anesthesia residents stopped their activities 75 percent of the time, compared to 88 percent for nurses and 50 percent for surgical technicians. Anesthesia residents identified themselves 47 percent of the time and discussed concerns 13 percent of the time. The percentages for nurses and surgical techs were lower for both activities.

Following the results, the hospital created a task force to improve checklist participation and teamwork. The task force created a training video and implemented live training sessions. After one month of active auditing, the task force found that almost 100 percent of OR staff participated in the preoperative pause, and discussions about surgical concerns increased from 10 percent to 22 percent.

Read the report on surgical checklists in Anesthesiology News.

Read more on anesthesia:

-U.S. Army, Virginia Commonwealth University Place First in Nurse Anesthesia Graduate Programs

-Study: Rolapitant Reduces Vomiting After Surgery

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