Safe surgery checklist use

Safe Surgery Checklist Use

Hospitals can help reduce the number of surgical complications and deaths by using a safe surgery checklist. Examples of safe surgery checklists are available from several national and state organizations, as well as from the World Health Organization (WHO)- Opens in a new window Exit Disclaimer - Opens in a new window. Hospital Compare provides information on whether a hospital uses a safe surgery checklist which includes safe surgery practices during each of the three critical perioperative periods:

  • The period prior to the administration of anesthesia;
  • The period prior to skin incision; and
  • The period of closure of incision and prior to patient leaving the operating room.

Hospitals provide this information through an online entry tool, and update it on an annual basis.

Below are examples of safe surgery practices which may be included in a checklist:

Safe Surgery Practices Examples
First critical point (period prior to administering anesthesia) Second critical point (period prior to skin incision) Third critical point (period of closure of incision and prior to patient leaving the operating room)
  • Verbal confirmation of patient identity
  • Mark surgical site
  • Check anesthesia machine/medication
  • Assessment of allergies, airway and aspiration risk
  • Confirm surgical team members and roles
  • Confirm patient identity, procedure and surgical incision site
  • Administration of antibiotic prophylaxis within 60 minutes before incision
  • Communication among surgical team members of anticipated critical events
  • Display of essential imaging as appropriate
  • Confirm the procedure
  • Complete count of surgical instruments and accessories
  • Identify key patient concerns for recovery and management of the patient