Checking In On the Checklist at 10 Years

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Uptake, Impact, and Opportunities for the Next Decade

January 15, 2020

Full report: Checking In On the Checklist

Press Release: English | Spanish | French

Executive Summary: English | Spanish | French

The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist—a 19-item list of prompts divided into three critical pause points—was created to prevent “never-events” (mistakes that should never happen in surgery), to promote safe administration of anesthesia, reduce surgical site infections, and improve teamwork and communication in the operating room.

Lifebox and Ariadne Labs reflect on the Checklist’s impact so far—and what needs to be done to save more lives in the future—in their new report, Checking In On the Checklist, written by Marine Buissonniere.

Since its founding, evidence has demonstrated that the Checklist dramatically reduces deaths and surgical complications. Ten years later, the Checklist remains a key force in the global safe surgery movement.

 

Checking In On the Checklist is part of a joint project of Lifebox and Ariadne Labs. It is written by and for frontline users of the Checklist from around the world. This is not a WHO report; it reflects the learnings, insights, and experiences of frontline providers who have used this tool.

Lifebox is a non-profit organization working to improve the safety of surgery and anesthesia in low- and middle-income countries. Lifebox was founded by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain & Ireland, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists in 2011.

Ariadne Labs is a health systems innovation center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Founded in 2012, Ariadne Labs is home to the Safe Surgery Program.