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The World Health Organization’s Surgical Safety Checklist was introduced in a publication in The New England Journal of Medicine, sparking a worldwide movement to improve the culture of surgical safety.

This surgical safety checklist is one example of the tools KRMC is utilizing to ensure patient safety.  The procedural team uses a surgical safety checklist to improve communication and make certain the patient is receiving the correct procedure and safest care.

A surgical checklist provides a step-by-step guide outlining the important details regarding a patient’s surgery. This reduces the need to rely on memory.  This checklist includes three parts:

1. Sign-in is performed before the patient is given anesthesia and involves the participation of the patient.

  • All team members are present
  • Patient identification, planned procedure, and allergies are confirmed
  • Surgical site is marked and matches the patient consent

2. Time-out is performed with the surgeon present and before the surgery begins.

  • All team members stop all activity
  • All team members verbally confirm patient identification, surgical procedure, and availability of correct equipment
  • All team members are given the opportunity to speak up and express any concerns

3. Sign-out is performed before the patient leaves the operating room.

  • All team members confirm and agree on the following:
    • Procedure performed
    • Instrument count is correct
    • Any specimens are labeled correctly
  • Team debrief
    • Concerns for patient recovery
    • Equipment issues to be addressed

During each part of the checklist, team members stop and make sure all safety items have been completed before moving forward. Use of the surgical safety checklist empowers and encourages every member of the care team to speak up for patient safety if they believe any of these essential steps have not been adequately completed.

 2022: correct time-outs = 99.3%