Checklists Are Only as Good as the Doctors Using Them

Pre-surgical checklists are a staple procedure at many hospitals and have been known to reduce mortality rates and risk of complications. While the effectiveness of properly-used checklists is almost undisputed, checklists become moot if surgical staffs do not strictly adhere to them. An editorial published by JAMA Surgery states that surgical checklists are only as good as the doctors using them, and that hospitals must promote cultures of safety and meticulous planning in order to see their benefits.

Failure to adhere to checklists contributes to medical errors all too often in the United States. Skipping steps and failing to keep track of equipment can cause patients to suffer serious injuries such as retained medical devices, punctured organs, infections, and possible death. Unfortunately, vigilantly enforcing a “checklist culture” isn’t always easy. Fostering an atmosphere of strict planning is often ineffective amidst the complexities of the existing healthcare system.

The editorial referenced a study involving the implementation of checklists at an Italian teaching hospital. After studying the outcomes of more than 5,000 surgeries before checklists and 5,000 surgeries after implementing checklists, the results indicated a drop in the 90-day all-cause mortality rate from 2.4% to 2.2%, with the lengths of average hospital stays seeing a similar decrease from 10.4 to 9.6 days.

Injured? Call (419) 318-0772 to Seek Compensation

If you have suffered an injury due to a surgeon’s failure to follow a safety checklist, a Toledo medical malpractice lawyer from Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. can help you file a personal injury claim in pursuit of the compensation you deserve. Having recovered more than $50 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our injured clients, we can provide the results-drive advocacy you need to ensure the responsible parties are held accountable.

Request a free consultation or contact our office online today to get started towards filing a claim.

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