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Nursing implications of the implementation of an WHO surgical safety checklist at a suburban hospital

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Szulc, Gracjan
Gilmore, Gary
MPH, Community Health Education
Dec 2011
Safety Management.; Inraoperative Complications -- prevention -- control.; Medical Errors -- prevention -- control.; Surgical Procedures, Operative - standards.; World Health Organization.
The purpose of this study was to understand how well the WHO surgical safety checklist was able to be adapted to an environment, which already had numerous communication tools in place, including the Situation Background Assessment Recommendation and preoperative checklists. A secondary purpose of this study was to understand how nurses were able to adapt to change in an ever-changing environment. The study was qualitative prospective descriptive. The author developed four research questions for this study: How does the utilization of the Surgical Safety Checklist effect the quality of care provided to the patient? To what degree is it reasonable/advisable to have a Surgical Safety Checklist in addition to a S.B.A.R. and pre-operative checklist already being utilized? To what degree can the Surgical Safety Checklist be adapted to a nurse's daily routine in the operating room? What elements need to be in place to facilitate the incorporation of the new procedure with the standard operating procedure, S.O.P? Respondents were interviewed by the author and were asked questions aligned with the research questions. The interviews yielded 10 respondents, at a 60% response rate. A total of 70% (n=7) respondents stated communication needed the most improvement in the surgical suite. In addition, 60% (n=6) of respondents stated that the WHO checklist improved the quality of care. Only 60% (n=6) respondents remembered having an education material given to them before or during the implementation of the surgical safety checklist. The author developed three conclusions from the study. The nurses at the site understood the importance of communication. There was a lack of support from the surgical administrative staff before and during the implementation of the checklist. Finally, there was a lack of education being offered to the staff regarding the importance of the checklist and why it was being adapted for their work environment.
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