South Carolina Hospitals Roll Out Checklists to Reduce Medical Errors

South Carolina hospitals are scheduled to start rolling out operating room surgical safety checklists, aimed at reducing the number of surgical errors that occur every year, according to a Greenville Online news report.

The surgical safety checklist, which has reduced complications and infection by more than 30 percent during trials, is the brainchild of Atul Gawande, MD, known worldwide for his patient safety initiatives. The checklist takes after checklists used in the aviation industry and includes 19 checkpoints, including patient identification, site to be operated on and special risks, according to the news report.

South Carolina Hospital Association Vice President Rick Foster, MD, said the safety checklist could help save 500 lives every year. The surgical safety checklist is part of a statewide pilot program that aims to have all South Carolina hospital use the checklist for every patient by 2013. Dr. Gawande hopes to have the checklist used by hospitals across the country by 2015.

Read the news report about the surgical safety checklist in South Carolina.

Read other coverage about patient safety:

- CDC Updates Bloodstream Infection Prevention Guidelines

Connecticut Department of Health Issues First Public Report of Hospital Infections

Johns Hopkins Researchers Urge Providers to Remove Children's Catheters Quickly to Prevent Infection

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