In the most recent podcast episode I commented on a recent news item about a study on a simple verbal checklist that reduces post surgical complications by one third.  Acceptance of that study’s surgery checklist seems to be gaining support in many circles.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in the U.K. announced their support for a move to implement the surgical checklist by 2010 in all of England and Wales.  They cite this simple procedural change as a new “best practice” that will improve patient outcomes and reduce operating room errors.

The Surgery Checklist

The checklist is a set of verbal reminders that occur pre-operatively, during surgery, and post-operatively.  In the checklist steps, members of the operating room team verify anesthesia safety steps, patient identity and procedure, team member concerns, and even simply introducing team members by name to the others present.  Post operative checklists verify instrument counts and other supplies used during surgery to verify that all surgical implements are removed from the patient and accounted for.

Simple Nursing Interventions

Do not forget that it is the simplest interventions that improve patient care.  This surgical checklist concept can easily be adapted to any aspect of patient care and procedures.  Work with the teams in your unit or workplace to adapt an improved patient care process.  It improves safety, efficiency and workplace stress when implemented well.

We Want Your Input

What kind of programs like this do you see in your workplace?  Are they tested for efficacy and reviewed for changes on a regular basis?  We want to know more.  Leave a comment on this article using the link below.

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