Use of the surgical safety checklist to improve communication and reduce complications

Anne E. Pugel, Vlad V. Simianu, David R. Flum, E. Patchen Dellinger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Existing evidence suggests that communication failures are common in the operating room, and that they lead to increased complications, including infections. Use of a surgical safety checklist may prevent communication failures and reduce complications. Initial data from the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist (WHO SSC) demonstrated significant reductions in both morbidity and mortality with checklist implementation. A growing body of literature points out that while the physical act of "checking the box" may not necessarily prevent all adverse events, the checklist is a scaffold on which attitudes toward teamwork and communication can be encouraged and improved. Recent evidence reinforces the fact the compliance with the checklist is critical for the effects on patient safety to be realized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infection and Public Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.


  • Communication
  • Compliance
  • Surgical briefing
  • Surgical checklist
  • Surgical safety


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