Patient deaths following surgery declined significantly from 2011 to 2013 at South Carolina hospitals where staff completed a voluntary checklist of patient safety safeguards, according to an AHRQ-funded study. The mortality rate following inpatient surgery declined 22 percent among patients at 14 hospitals that completed the checklist-based safety program. The checklist included safeguards such as identifying patients by name and date of birth before administering anesthesia, confirming surgical procedures to be performed and having an advance team briefing about the operative plan and potential difficulties. As a team-based tool, the checklist was designed to promote stronger communication among surgical staff to increase patient safety. The study’s authors concluded that broad, ongoing participation of both frontline clinicians and hospital leadership is necessary to produce behavioral change among surgical teams. The study found no change in mortality rates among 44 other hospitals statewide that did not complete the program.
- Mortality Trends After a Voluntary Checklist-based Surgical Safety Collaborative..Annals of Surgery. 2017