Surgical Safety Checklists – Health System Example

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"Surgical Safety Checklists" is a perfect example of a paper on the health system. The practice change being proposed is the use of scheduling forms and comprehensive checklists as a way of reducing wrong-site surgeries. This practise ensures that the entire surgical team is well versed on the patient’ s condition and needs from the onset of his treatment (ECRI, 2008). According to Papaconstantinou et al. (2013), several cases of wrong-site surgery occur due to poor marking. The traditional making systems and techniques rely on the information that a single individual doing the marking has about the patient.

This means that a mistake by the clinician doing the marking will eventually lead to the entire team making another mistake by carrying out the surgery where it is not required. Scheduling forms and the comprehensive checklists, therefore, allow the members in the surgery team to have all the facts they require about the patient. Such checklists will have information about the identity of the patient, the required surgical procedure, the site of operation and other relevant data like the consent and imaging details. The introduction of the new practice should begin with the evaluation of the surgical team’ s perspective on the use of scheduling forms and comprehensive checklists.

A multidisciplinary team comprising of nurses, surgeons and other practitioners involved in the surgeries should be formed to develop the checklists and the forms. This is then to be followed by a mandatory education campaign. The education modules should have videos showing the checklists and forms in use. After the implementation of the new practice, a survey on the perception of the team on the various surgical themes like communication, teamwork and patient safety as well as that on the checklists will have to be carried out.

It is expected that there will be an increased awareness of patient safety and quality services thus helping in reducing wrong-site surgeries. The implementation of this new intervention is expected to experience some barriers. The first one is the opposition from the team members who prefer the traditional procedures due to the amount of time spent completing the checklists. The second hurdle is the lack of understanding and commitment by the various parties.

Handling this will require education on the benefits of the change. In order to successfully gain from this new intervention, there is a need to incorporate the checklists and forms in the surgical procedures at the hospital. The checklists should be made available to the surgeons prior to the operations. Papaconstantinou et al. (2013) raise a question about the complexity and time spent in filling the checklists and scheduling forms in relation to emergency situations. This is, however, not a cause for concern since the checklists will not be needed in certain life-threatening and emergency conditions.

The risks and the benefits of the scheduling and completing the checklists will always be assessed by the involved clinicians during such instances. Response to Catheter Standardization Intervention For this particular intervention to be effective in reducing the catheter-related infections, it will be imperative to review other aspects of the hospital’ s policy on insertion. It will also require training on competency insertion and use of the standardized catheter insertion devices. The training should be made mandatorily for the nurses, therapists, radiologists and other physicians.

The training and education on the new skills and practice will play a vital role in creating awareness about the intervention and thus having a positive outcome on the patients.


Papaconstantinou, H., ChanHee, J., Reznik, S. & Smythe, W. (2013). Implementation of a surgical safety checklist: Impact on surgical team perspectives. Oschner J. 13, 299-309.
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