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American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Practice Management & Allied Staff News & Materials

WHO surgery checklist

May 19th, 2009

A study released by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that when implementing the use of their surgical checklist, surgical deaths and complications were lowered by one third. The WHO trialed the use of its surgical checklist in eight operating rooms (OR) in hospitals around the world and found that the death rate dropped from 1.5% to .8% and the rate of major complications from surgery fell to 7% from 11%. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, touches on aspects of the checklist that foster better communication in the OR. Taking time to make sure that all members of the operating team are on the same page and can voice any concerns they have proved to be a key part in lowering error rates. The WHO Checklist can be found at www.who.int/patientsafety/safesurgery/tools_resources/SSSL_Checklist_finalJun08.pdf. An Implementation Manual can be found at www.who.int/patientsafety/safesurgery/tools_resources/SSSL_Manual_finalJun08.pdf. More information can be found at www.who.int.