Surgical Checklist

Communication is a vital aspect of patient safety and care. In developing a surgical checklist, the surgery team has worked to improve teamwork, increase efficiency and reduce complications at all stages of surgery.

What are we measuring?

  •  Percentage of surgical cases where all three phases of the surgical checklist are performed with the surgeon, anesthesiologist and nursing staff present.

Island Health Success

The surgical checklist includes specific tasks to be carried out before, during and after a surgical procedure. These tasks include everything from confirming the patient’s name, to assessing risks, to setting aside time for questions. The entire surgical team, from nurses to anesthesiologists, is responsible for going over the checklist together and making sure every task is completed. As of May 2012, Island Health implemented a surgical safety checklist policy that requires the use of the checklist in 100% of surgical procedures.

As of July 15, 2012, surgical teams are now using the checklist in 98% of surgeries carried out across the health region. Use of the checklist has been growing steadily since Island Health began tracking its use in the fall of 2011, when it was being completed in about 43% of surgeries.

Learn More from the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council.

BCPSQC Surgical Checklist Backgrounder (PDF)