Adopting a surgical safety checklist could save money and improve the quality of care in U.S. hospitals

Health Aff (Millwood). 2010 Sep;29(9):1593-9. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0709.


Use of the World Health Organization's Surgical Safety Checklist has been associated with a significant reduction in major postoperative complications after inpatient surgery. We hypothesized that implementing the checklist in the United States would generate cost savings for hospitals. We performed a decision analysis comparing implementation of the checklist to existing practice in U.S. hospitals. In a hospital with a baseline major complication rate after surgery of at least 3 percent, the checklist generates cost savings once it prevents at least five major complications. Using the checklist would both save money and improve the quality of care in hospitals throughout the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Checklist / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cost Savings*
  • Hospitals / standards*
  • Humans
  • Organizational Innovation*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Safety Management / methods*
  • United States