The impact of a surgical checklist on surgical outcomes in an academic institution. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine the influence of a surgical checklist (SC) on morbidities and compliance with safety measures. STUDY DESIGN: Before-and-after-intervention study. SAMPLE POPULATION: Three thousand two hundred eighty-six dogs: 1375 dogs pre-SC and 1911 post-SC. METHODS: Completion of safety measures and occurrence of morbidity and/or mortality during hospitalization and up to death or 30-days postoperatively were recorded. RESULTS: Safety measures were more frequently completed post-SC, including oral confirmation of patient identity (467/1177 [40%] vs. 1911/1911 [100%]) and oral confirmation of surgical site (568/1175 [48%] vs. 1911/1911 [100%]). In addition, duration of anesthesia decreased from 241 to 232min (t = 2.824; p = .005); a greater proportion of animals that were intended to receive antibiotics did so prior to incision (1142/1316 [86.8%] vs. 1656/1845 [89.8%] [2 = 6.70, p = .01]); and fewer dogs had unplanned return to the OR (32/1065 [3.0%], vs. 21/1472 [1.4%]) (2 = 7.52, p = .006). No difference in surgical site infection (adjusted odds ratio 1.02 [95%CI: 0.63-1.66]); morbidity, (adjusted odds ratio 1.00 [95%CI: 0.77-1.29]); or death within 30days (adjusted odds ratio 1.15 [95%CI: 0.72-1.83]) was detected on multivariable logistic regression analysis. The checklist prevented one wrong-site surgery. CONCLUSION: Implementation of the checklist at our institution led to a decrease in anesthesia duration, increased administration of planned perioperative antibiotics before incision, increased completion of safety measures, and decreased unexpected return to the OR. IMPACT: Despite the lack of effect on morbidities, the use of SC is recommended to improve compliance with safety measures and potentially prevent rare catastrophic events.

published proceedings

  • Vet Surg

altmetric score

  • 1.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Thieman Mankin, K. M., Jeffery, N. D., & Kerwin, S. C.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Thieman Mankin, Kelley M||Jeffery, Nicholas D||Kerwin, Sharon C

publication date

  • January 2021