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Webinar 12: Implementing the Checklist at Your Hospital Continued. Topics of Last Week’s Call. State level overview of the culture survey results. A presentation for surgeons. Preparing your colleagues for using the checklist in the OR – A couple of reminders. Show them how to use it.
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A heart surgeon, an enthusiastic supporter of checklists, decided to try out a checklist he had been working on to use in heart surgery. While it was based on the South Carolina Surgical Safety Checklist, it had been thoroughly modified to meet the special needs of heart surgery. He had assembled a group to modify the checklist that consisted of an anesthesiologist, cardiac surgery nurse, another heart surgeon and a perfusionist who runs the heart lung machine. Everyone who worked on the checklist was very enthusiastic. They group did a table top simulation in the conference room where they met about once a month while working on their checklist.
The surgeon decided to try out his checklist during a relatively straight forward heart operation on a 70 year old man who needed a bypass operation. None of the members of the team that had helped to modify the checklist were in the operating room that day. The nurse, anesthesiologist and perfusionist, who were well acquainted with the Joint Commission time out, had never seen the checklist before they used it that morning. Because the surgeon wanted to be able to show that the checklist didn’t take too long, each portion of the checklist was timed that morning. No one had practiced using the checklist before they used it. The case went well. A survey was given to all of the surgical team members at the end of the procedure asking them their opinions about how the checklist had gone. To the surgeon’s surprise, no one on the operating team was enthusiastic about using the checklist again. In fact, most of the team felt that the checklist was useless and if they were to have surgery, definitely wouldn’t want a checklist used for them. They never wanted to use the checklist again.
Kimberly Hubbard, MHA
Ashley Kay Childers, PhD
If you could give the surgeon just one piece of advice, what would it be?