Checklist Reduces Operating Room Errors

Studies show a new checklist developed by the World Health Organization may reduce complications and death from surgery by as much as one-third.

It is patterned after similar checklists used by airline pilots to ensure flight safety. 

Surgery checklists are not new. But the WHO checklist is more structured and detailed than most used in the past.  It requires medical personnel to answer questions aloud before, during and after a surgical procedure.

"As humans, we can have times that we forget things," said Dr. Sina Matin, of Baylor University Medical Center. "The ultimate goal here is to have no errors."

The new checklist is reassuring for patients such as Sanchali Ganguly, who must have her gall bladder removed.

"It gives me a lot of confidence," she said.

The WHO surgery checklist is now in use across the the entire Baylor Health Care System.    

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