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A Need For Operating Room Checklists

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – They are called hospital-based checklists. They can be used to make certain that important steps are not missed in patient care. They are very similar to checklists that are used in the airline industry where pilots check a detailed list before takeoff.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that operating rooms need to go in this direction. In many cases they do, but not in all.

In the study, half of the cases in an operating room were performed using checklists and half without check lists.  

When checklists were used, only six percent of steps were missed and when the lists were not used, twenty three percent were missed. Another interesting fact – 97% of Operating Room workers said they would want a checklist used if they were being operated on.

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