Implementing the World Health Organization surgical safety checklist: a model for future perioperative initiatives

AORN J. 2011 Dec;94(6):590-8. doi: 10.1016/j.aorn.2011.03.012.


In the fall of 2008, perioperative leaders at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, conducted a two-week trial of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist in the main OR. The checklist was incorporated by using a Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. In 2009, we began a 14-week rollout of the surgical safety checklist to all our ORs. Critical factors that led to the success of this implementation included gaining executive leadership endorsement; recruiting volunteers from each discipline to lead the project; using quality methodologies to ensure a thoughtful, organizing implementation; providing frequent feedback and data; and confirming standardized use of the checklist by creating a policy.

MeSH terms

  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Inservice Training
  • Leadership
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control*
  • Safety*
  • World Health Organization*