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Authors

  1. Robbins, Jeffrey

Abstract

Hospital checklists are gaining momentum, particularly since the World Health Organization's Safe Surgery Saves Lives Program published results of its study in 2009, indicating that a safety checklist significantly improved surgical outcomes in hospitals across the world. The South Carolina Hospital Association, in partnership with Dr Atul Gawande, has launched a program to implement the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist in every operating room in the state over the next few years. Governments, in such places as France and the Canadian province of Ontario, are also stepping in to make surgical checklists mandatory in their hospitals. Drawing on research, recent initiatives, and the company's experience in high-acuity units, this article explores the implications and challenges of implementing checklists in today's hospitals. If a checklist is to succeed as a mechanism for transforming evidence-based care and safety protocols into best and actual practice, it needs to be used consistently and durably; to achieve this, hospitals need to foster a supportive environment as well as acquire a system to monitor, measure, and manage a culture that effectively embraces checklists.