Background: Awareness of the relative high rate of adverse events in laparoscopic surgery created a need to safeguard quality and safety of performance better. Technological innovations, such as integrated operating room (OR) systems and checklists, have the potential to improve patient safety, OR efficiency, and surgical outcomes. This study was designed to investigate the influence of the integrated OR system and Pro/cheQ, a digital checklist tool, on the number and type of equipment- and instrument-related risk-sensitive events (RSE) during laparoscopic cholecystectomies.
Methods: Forty-five laparoscopic cholecystectomies were analyzed on the number and type of RSE; 15 procedures were observed in the cart-based OR setting, 15 in an integrated OR setting, and 15 in the integrated OR setting while using Pro/cheQ.
Results: In the cart-based OR setting and the integrated OR setting, at least one event occurred in 87% of the procedures, which was reduced to 47% in the integrated OR setting when using Pro/cheQ. During 45 procedures a total of 57 RSE was observed-most were caused by equipment that was not switched on or with the wrong settings. In the integrated OR while using Pro/cheQ the number of RSE was reduced by 65%.
Conclusions: Using both an integrated OR and Pro/cheQ has a stronger reducing effect on the number of RSE than using an integrated OR alone. The Pro/cheQ tool supported the optimal workflow in a natural way and raised the general safety awareness amongst all members of the surgical team. For tools such as integrated OR systems and checklists to succeed it is pivotal not to underestimate the value of the implementation process. To further improve safety and quality of surgery, a multifaceted approach should be followed, focusing on the performance and competence of the surgical team as a whole.