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Is WHO’s surgical safety checklist being hyped?

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4700 (Published 05 August 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4700

Re: Is WHO’s surgical safety checklist being hyped?

The real benefit of the checklists should have been specifically emphasized by WHO as improving the culture of safety. Perhaps it was taken for granted and projected as a significant reducer of mortality (for stunning effects) and morbidity.

There are more videos on the web about 'How not to use the Checklist' than the real purpose or accruable benefits.

The before and after studies were inappropriately taken as such and in some centres were discontinued after the study!!!

The authors, while scholarly, demolish the end point mortality metrics, but strongly advocate its usage for the right purpose of using the tool to improve the culture - a prerequisite for safer healthcare. The same theme is visible in the repudiating responses from authors of quoted studies.

I wish to reiterate and request the editor as well as all enlightened authors / authorities to emphasize it as a helpful physical tool to improve the culture - a seemingly nebulous but a necessary prerequisite. The tool can help improve Communication, Collaboration and Coordination - the pillars of culture. The greatest benefit would be to rebuild TRUST in healthcare - perhaps the greatest need today worldwide.

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 August 2019
Akhil Sangal
Medical Doctor
Indian Confederation for Healthcare Accreditation
B 2 / 211, Safdarjung Enclave, FF, New Delhi - 110029, India