McLeod Regional wields surgical checklist: 6 positive results + 3 change management tips

McLeod Regional Health System surgeons now use a checklist for all cases to reduce errors and improve outcomes, according to Harvard Business Review.

Surgical teams at the Florence, S.C.-based hospital have achieved the following results since implementing the checklist:

  • Nearly one-third drop in 30-day surgical mortality rate
  • Increase in surgical teams' productivity of 7.5 hours per case
  • More than $4 million in annual savings
  • Higher surgical case volume and improved operating room throughput
  • More than $3 million in additional annual revenue
  • Higher job satisfaction and improved safety culture reported by surgical team members

Anesthesiologist Michael Rose, MD, helped McLeod surgeons embrace the checklist during his tenure as vice president of surgical services there, but not all hospitals have the same success. Despite evidence that surgical checklists improve outcomes, surgeons can be resistant to making the change. Dr. Rose recommended three approaches to change management:

1. Understand any resistance rather than blindly fighting it.
2. Listen to the surgical teams' concerns rather than forcing a new process upon them.
3. Enlist checklist champions to advance its adoption.

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