Background: Surgical safety checklists reduce perioperative complications and mortality. Given that minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is dependent on technology and vulnerable to equipment failure, SAGES and AORN partnered to create a MIS checklist to optimize case flow and minimize errors. The aim of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of the SAGES/AORN checklist in preventing disruptions and determine its ease of use.
Methods: The checklist was implemented across four institutions and completed by the operating team. To assess its effectiveness, we recorded how often the checklist identified problems and how frequently each of the 45 checklist items were not completed. The perceived usefulness, ease of use, and frustration associated with checklist use were rated on a 5-point Likert scale by the surgeon. We assessed any differences dependent on timing of checklist completion and among institutions.
Results: The checklist was performed during MIS procedures (n = 114). When used before the procedure (n = 36), the checklist identified missing items in 13 cases (36.11 %). When used after the procedure (n = 61), the checklist identified missing items in 18 cases (29.51 %) that caused a delay of 4.1 ± 11.1 min. The most frequently missed items included preference card review (14.0 %), readiness of the carbon dioxide insufflator (8.7 %), and availability of the Veress needle (3.6 %). The checklist took an average of 3.6 ± 2.7 min to complete with its usefulness rated 2.6 ± 1.5, ease of use 2.0 ± 1.2, and frustration 1.3 ± 1.1.
Conclusion: The checklist identified problems in 24 % of cases that led to preventable delays. The checklist was easy to complete and not frustrating, indicating it could improve operative flow. This study also identified the most useful items which may help abbreviate the checklist, minimizing the frustration and time taken to complete it while maximizing its utility. These attributes of the SAGES/AORN MIS checklist should be explored in future larger-scale studies.
Keywords: Assessment; Checklist; Minimally invasive surgery; Surgery.