January 16, 2009 | | Comments 0
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WHO study shows surgical checklists reduce error risk

As many of you may have seen by now, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study on January 14 showing that the use of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) surgical checklist reduce the risk of surgical error by 36% when used correctly. The AHAP blog had a posting on this topic a few weeks ago as part of the update from the IHI conference. Dr. Atul Gawande, the lead author on the study, presented on the topic and assured attendees that they would be astounded by the results when published.

Although the WHO’s checklist differs from what The Joint Commission requires as part of compliance with the Universal ProtocolTM, this  study shows that any way to incorporate clear, basic communication into patient safety will produce better patient outcomes.

Are your hospitals using this checklist? Has there been any talk of incorporating it into your OR practices?

To find out more about the WHO’s checklist, click here.

To read the article in the New England Journal of Medicine, click here.

The 3rd Annual AHAP Conference, taking place May 14-15, 2009 in Las Vegas, is featuring a session about the changes made to the 2009 National Patient Safety Goals, and part of that session will cover the updates to the 2009 Universal Protocol.

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Heather Comak About the Author: Heather Comak is the Assistant Director of the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals and a Managing Editor at HCPro, Inc., where she is the editor of the monthly publication Briefings on Patient Safety. Contact Heather by e-mailing her at hcomak@hcpro.com.

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