Post-surgical mortality rates in Scotland have decreased by more than a third ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist was introduced in 2008 as part of the Patient Safety Programme. The findings were published in the British Journal of Surgery.
The Surgical Safety Checklist was developed by the WHO a decade ago under the leadership of Dr Atul Gawande and has been widely implemented across the world. The 19-item checklist aims to strengthen teamwork and communication in operating theatres, thereby improving surgical care and safety.
Researchers analysed more than 6.8 million surgical admissions in Scotland between 2000 and 2014. The inpatient mortality rates in surgical patients fell from 0.76 per cent in 2000 to 0.46 per cent in 2014. There was a 36.6 per cent relative reduction in post-surgical mortality since the introduction of the checklist in Scottish hospitals in 2008 (P<.001 the annual decline in mortality rates before during and after implementation of checklist were per cent respectively.>
Dr Manoj Kumar, National Clinical Lead for Scottish Mortality and Morbidity Review Programme, said: "This study reaffirms the importance of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist which functions as a key aide in promoting effective team-working, communication and other relevant non-technical skills in surgery which is critical in ensuring good outcomes.”