Long-term effects of a perioperative safety checklist from the viewpoint of personnel

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2013 Feb;57(2):150-7. doi: 10.1111/aas.12020. Epub 2012 Nov 27.


Background: While positive short-term effects of the use of safety checklists have previously been reported by personnel, it is unclear to which extent these effects are maintained for a long-term period. The aim of the present study was to evaluate perioperative safety standards and the quality of interprofessional cooperation from the viewpoint of the involved personnel for up to 2 years following the introduction of a safety checklist.

Methods: A survey of 99 co-workers in the departments of anaesthesiology and traumatology was conducted using a 19-point questionnaire concerning perioperative safety-relevant aspects and the quality of interprofessional cooperation before and at 3, 18, and 24 months after the introduction of a safety checklist.

Results: Verification of written consent for surgery (P < 0.01), clear marking of the surgical site (P < 0.01), and time management (P < 0.05) were rated more positively over time by the anaesthesiologists and nurses. Items involving communication were rated less positively after 18 and 24 months than at 3 months. Orthopaedic surgeons rated being better informed about the patients (P < 0.05), the planned operation (P < 0.01), and the assignment of tasks during surgery (P < 0.01) progressively more positively over the time.

Conclusions: Some positive effects concerning the perioperative organisation and management were rated more positively even 2 years after checklist implementation. However, interprofessional communication and cooperation did not show long-term improvement from staff members' point of view. Probably longer lasting effects for the latter aspects could be achieved by repeated instruction and communication training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Checklist*
  • Consent Forms
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • Nurses
  • Orthopedic Procedures
  • Patient Safety*
  • Perioperative Care / standards*
  • Physicians
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time
  • Traumatology
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy