Surgical safety checklists : an update

Acta Chir Belg. 2014 Jul-Aug;114(4):219-24.


Surgical safety checklists aim to improve patient safety by prompting the attention of the surgical team towards critical steps during the operation. The checklist's items are aimed to improve compliance with proven interventions, and to facilitate multidisciplinary communication and teamwork. Based on the current literature, corroborated by systematic reviews and meta-analysis, surgical safety checklists have a positive impact on communication and reduce postoperative complications including mortality. However, despite their effectiveness, the implementation of these checklists is not straightforward. Several determinants leading to behaviour were checklists are checked but not properly executed have been highlighted. As surgical safety checklists are in essence complex sociological interventions, they must be implemented accordingly. Key factors for the implementation of these checklists have been suggested in the literature, although, the most profound way of implementation remains unclear.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Checklist / trends*
  • Humans
  • Operating Rooms
  • Patient Care Team / standards*
  • Patient Safety / standards*