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What Is a Surgical Safety Checklist?

A surgical safety checklist is a patient safety communication tool that is used by a team of operating room professionals (nurses, surgeons, anaesthesiologists, and others) to discuss important details about each surgical case. It is a final check prior to surgery used to make sure everyone knows the important medical information they need to know about the patient, all equipment is available and in working order, and everyone is ready to proceed.

About Surgical Safety Checklists (SSCL)
The SSCL is a patient safety communication tool used by the operating room team to facilitate team discussion and ensure that everyone is familiar with the case, reducing reliance on memory for certain necessary interventions. Ultimately, using SSCLs will improve teamwork and communication in the operating room, which can lead to improved patient care and safety, decreased complications and deaths from surgery, and better operating room efficiency.

SSCLs are divided into three parts relating to different phases of a surgery (i.e., briefing, time-out and debriefing), and each section of the checklist has information that is relevant to that phase. The tree-phase SSCL has emerged as a useful best practice because it organizes the information at the right moments in time.The SSCL is a communication tool used to inform all team members about important details regarding the patient and the surgery. It reduces reliance on memory so that one person is not responsible for remembering every single step needed for a safe surgery.The public reporting of our hospital’s SSCL percentage compliance allows hospitals to establish a baseline from which they can track their percentage compliance over time. Patients having surgery at our hospital can expect to have the checklist performed during their procedure.

Will a Surgical Safety Checklist be used on me?

If you undergo a surgery at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, you can expect that the surgical safety checklist will be used as part of the procedure. It will be used by your health care team before, during and after your surgery to help the health care team familiarize themselves with your medical history and any special requirements that may be needed for your individual case.

Percent Compliance Surgical Safety Checklist

Fiscal 2020 – 2021

May 2022June 2022July 2022Aug 2022Sept 2022Oct 2022Nov 2022Dec 2022Jan 2023Feb 2023Mar 2023

The percent compliance is calculated as follows:

Number of times all three phases of the surgical safety checklist was performed x 100
Total surgeries

The surgical safety checklist is considered “performed” when the designated checklist coordinator confirms that surgical team members have implemented and/or addressed all of the necessary tasks and items in each of the three phases: Briefing; Time Out; and Debriefing. Therefore, the SSCL compliance indicator is a process measure, measuring the degree to which all three phases of the SSCL was performed correctly and appropriately for each surgical patient.

Patient safety remains the most important priority for Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and this involves ensuring a safe experience for patients who undergo surgery here. Our patients can expect safe, high quality care, and one tool used to help ensure a positive patient care experience is a surgical safety checklist.