Implementation of the surgical safety checklist in South Carolina hospitals is associated with improvement in perceived perioperative safety.
Surgical checklists have been associated with reduced morbidity and mortality in randomized trials, but real-world implementation has not always resulted in improvement. This pre-post study reports on an initiative to implement surgical checklists in South Carolina hospitals. Investigators surveyed surgical personnel before and after checklist implementation. Compared with the pre-intervention responses, measures of teamwork improved, and 54% of participants reported effective checklist compliance. The study did not report on changes in patient outcomes after checklist introduction, which would substantiate calls for implementing checklists widely. A PSNet interview with Dr. Lucian Leape discussed his perspective on checklists and patient safety.