Implementation of the “WHO Surgical Safety Checklist” in an outpatients setting – minimising the risk for error

Introduction: Wrong site surgery is a preventable adverse event; however, such events do occur.

Although there is a safety check mechanism in place for all outpatient minor oral surgical procedures (MOS), there is scope to modify this in accordance with the World Health Organisation Surgical Safety Checklist, currently used nationally and internationally, for general anaesthetic procedures in operating theatres.

Therefore, a new “Outpatients Surgical Safety Checklist” was adapted from WHO Surgical Safety Checklist published in 2008. The authors present a novel modification of the WHO surgical checklist for local anaesthetic procedures.

Methods: The Surgical Safety Checklist, was implemented for use in all local anaesthetic procedures. The printed ‘Surgical safety checklist’ was attached to each set of notes. An initial prospective two-month audit and a second cycle retrospective audit was carried out, looking at completed checklists for patients having dental extractions only. These enabled assessment of use and compliance with the new measures, highlighting any sources of error.

Conclusion: Following the analysis of the two audit cycles, a total of 580 checklists were reviewed. All forms were fully and correctly completed by all members of staff, there was 100% compliance with the guidelines and no untoward outcomes ensued.

Current literature suggests that error of a wrong tooth extraction accounted for 83 per cent of serious adverse incidents in oral and dental treatments.

Therefore, we suggest the introduction and implementation of a surgical safety checklist in local anaesthetic settings in order to minimise possible error and prevent untoward incidents from occurring.

Conflict of interest: None declared.

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Feb 5, 2018 | Posted by in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery | Comments Off on Implementation of the “WHO Surgical Safety Checklist” in an outpatients setting – minimising the risk for error
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