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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Implementing a pre-operative checklist to increase patient safety: a 1-year follow-up of personnel attitudes.

Nilsson L, Lindberget O, Gupta A, et al. Acta anaesthesiologica Scandinavica. 2010;54:176-82.

Performance of a timeout prior to a surgical procedure is an essential component of the Joint Commission's Universal Protocol to improve surgical safety. This Swedish study assessed surgical teams' perception of the effectiveness of a mandatory timeout, during which a formal checklist of perioperative safety measures was discussed. Staff at all levels generally had positive opinions of the timeout and felt it improved patient safety. Although the effectiveness of timeouts and checklists has been demonstrated in prior studies, their implementation can be problematic, as illustrated in a recent commentary on checklists and an AHRQ WebM&M case on timeouts.