Committee Opinion No. 680: The Use and Development of Checklists in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Nov;128(5):e237-e240. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001772.


Checklists are used in medical and nonmedical settings as cognitive aids to ensure that users complete all the items associated with a particular task. They are ideal for tasks with many steps, for tasks performed under stressful circumstances, or for reminding people to perform tasks that they are not routinely accustomed to doing. In medicine, they are ideal for promoting standardized processes of care in situations in which variation in practice may increase patient risk and the chance of medical errors. Checklists also can be used to enhance teamwork and communication. It is a good idea to include frontline individuals who are involved in completing the procedure in the selection and development of the checklist. To be optimally effective, those who create checklists need to carefully plan for their design, implementation, evaluation, and revision. Checklists are valuable cognitive aids to help health care teams provide complete and timely care to patients, but checklists should be only one tool in the armamentarium to ensure that practitioners do the right thing for the right patient at the right time.

MeSH terms

  • Checklist* / statistics & numerical data
  • Gynecology / instrumentation*
  • Obstetrics / instrumentation*