World Health Organization Safety Checklist

The World Health Organization, an international health organization of the United Nation system, has developed a patient safety checklist to reduce the number of surgical deaths worldwide. This checklist ensures that important safety procedures is accomplished. Safety procedures to be conducted involve the administering of adequate anaesthetic, that sterile medical equipment for the operation is available and that proper communication is done by the operating team. This safety checklist is to be performed between the nurse, anaesthetist and the surgeon.

  1. Before Applied Anathesia

    • A surgical checklist involves open communication between the nurse and the anaesthetist concerning the anaesthesia to be given to the patient. Parts of the conducted checklist include questions, such as whether the patient has confirmed his identity, if he has given the appropriate permission to be given the anaesthetic and whether the anaesthesia machine has been checked for proper operations. Another question asked upon the checklist may include if the patient has any difficulties with breathing through airways or suffering from aspiration.

    Before Skin Incisions

    • The surgeon, nurse and anaesthetist will perform a skin incision checklist before the initial operation. Since different medical staff will work on different patients on a daily basis, proper introductions should be made along with the patient's information. Confirmation will be conducted concerning the area marked on the patient where the surgery will take place and whether the imaging, such as x-rays, are available. Each person on the operating team needs to perform their part of the surgical safety checklist, such as the surgeon anticipating the amount of blood loss the patient will experience during the operation and if the nurse has checked for any malfunctioning surgical equipment.

    Prior to Patient Exiting Operating Room

    • After surgery, the operating team needs to conduct another checklist before the patient is wheeled from the operating room and into the recovery department. The nurse must verbally inform the other medical staff concerning the type of the procedure that was completed, whether any specimens were taken and that the specimens have the correct labeling with the patient's name. All the medical staff should conclude the safety checklist by voicing any recovery issues or special health management the patient may require.


    • Every surgical checklist should require the basic procedure of ensuring the patient's safety, yet can be modified based on the type of medical facility where the patient is receiving treatment. Any checklist modifications should be made from input from the entire operating staff. Clear communication should commence between the staff along with precise steps concerning different areas of the medical procedure. The modified sections should be brief to take as little time away from the actual medical care as well as tested to make sure it fits within the health care facility's flow of operations.

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