The utility of the surgical safety checklist for wound patients

Joseph W. Myers, Brent A. Gilmore, Kelly A. Powers, Paul J. Kim, Christopher E. Attinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of changes in patient care resulting from the use of a surgical safety checklist. Data were retrospectively obtained from 233 patients. The number and types of changes made to the patients’ intra-operative management, based on the use of the checklist, were recorded. The number of patients whose management was modified as a result of the checklist was 113 (48%) out of 233. The total number of changes made was 132, and 18 patients had more than one modification made to their care plan. Further stratification was identified: among the 132 changes made, antibiotics were held or administered in 73 (55%), changes related to anaemia involving type and screen or transfusion occurred in 27 (20%), modifications made regarding anti-coagulation occurred in 8 (7%), beta-blockers were held in 2 (2%), an allergy was identified in 7 (5%), modifications made to the surgical procedure were 3 (2%) and a category labelled ‘other’ encompassed 9 (7%) changes. The surgical safety checklist is a standardised form of team communication that leads to modifications of the patient care plan in a large percentage of cases. The ever-increasing complexity of medicine means that patients are at greater risk of oversight and harm without the use of a checklist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-853
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Checklist
  • Clinical protocol
  • Communication
  • Medical errors
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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