Surgical Checklists Cut Errors

Side Note: A recent study published in the Annals of Surgery reviewed surgical data from the largest medical liability insurer in the Netherlands. The study, which reviewed surgeries from 2004-2005 in which 294 successful med mal claims were made, identified the main reasons for the claims and then compared them to a surgical checklist called SURPASS. The findings revealed that almost one-third of the med mal claims made could have been caught with the use of a surgical checklist. Although the results are not surprising, surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande, who has written at length on the topic, says that “…only about a fourth of U.S. hospitals use one of the three checklists that have been proven to work.” This is surprising, considering that reducing errors would reduce med mal liability, which would ultimately reduce med mal insurance costs.

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Surgical checklists might cut malpractice claims
By Frederik Joelving
REUTERS, NEW YORK | Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:08am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Surgical checklists not only save lives by preventing medical errors, they could also make a big dent in medical malpractice claims, Dutch researchers say.

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