The Checklist Effect

A safe operation is more than a series of clinical steps done right. Every day, our colleagues around the world share stories of extraordinary teamwork to save a life.

The Checklist Effect is an award-winning feature length documentary about their work and worlds – and Lifebox is proud to be a part of it.

Over the last two years we’ve helped New York-based director-cinematographer Lauren Anders Brown take her production company Collaborate: ideas & images on the road, to paint the bigger picture of surgical safety on a global scale.

We joined her in Haiti, America, Uganda, United Kingdom, Moldova, Mongolia and Guatemala, to go behind the scenes of operating rooms and communities wrestling with the challenges – sometimes unique, but more often universal – of ensuring safer surgical and anaesthetic care.

Lifebox partners, who help to deliver our safer surgery and anaesthesia projects in more than 100 countries, have extraordinary stories. They’re not always easy to tell or to hear, and no clinician lets a camera into their operating room lightly.

But partners and patients alike understand that sharing their expertise and experience is a crucial step towards making access to safe surgery a right, not a privilege – and it’s with huge thanks to them that The Checklist Effect has slowly come to life.

Working pro bono, with two cameras and a very heavy backpack, Lauren was inspired by The Checklist Manifesto: the best-selling (and life-saving) account of developing the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist by surgeon, author and Lifebox founder Atul Gawande.

The Checklist Effect explores how longer lifespans have led to an urgent increase in the need for surgery – and provoked a deadly safety crisis. It also shows how that seemingly  simple Checklist can make the difference between life and death.

And it’s available in seven languages. We hope you’ll have a chance to see the film – and that you’ll be inspired to help us make a difference too!  Stay tuned for information on updates, screenings – and the chance to host your own premiere for safer surgery…