Trainings and surgical checklists reduce postoperative complications

When a patient receives an operation, he or she hopes for the most superior care. Patients trust their lives in the hands health care workers, and their expectations should be taken seriously. Specifically, physicians and other health care providers should ensure that all safeguards are taken before, during and after procedures to prevent any postoperative complications.

A new study performed by researchers at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington and Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford has found that a surgical checklist, combined with communications training, is an effective way to reduce expensive postoperative complications.


Trainings help facilitate effective communication within an operation. Specifically, the sessions work on the differences between introverts and extroverts. In trainings, everyone on the surgical team introduces themselves before the procedure to ensure accountability.

Moreover, surgical checklists make sure that everyone is advocating for the patient. For example, nurses might verbally confirm the name of the procedure with the patient and surgical team. The operating staff might count needles, sponges and surgical equipment to ensure that nothing was left behind in the patient. These are just some examples of collective advocacy for a patient, which can be accomplished with surgical lists.

Results of the study

The study found that of the surgical teams that implemented both communications trainings and surgical checklists, only 8.2 percent of procedures resulted in complications within 30 days of an operation.

Approximately 16 percent of procedures led to complications within 30 days when surgical teams only had communication trainings. Moreover, when surgical teams did not use either safeguard, more than 23 percent of the procedures resulted in complications.

Deutsches Ärzteblatt International recently published two studies, which found that the most common safety errors in the operating room involve inadequate communication and ineffective teamwork. Therefore, recent findings reinforce the usefulness of trainings and surgical lists.

These cost-effective methods can help improve patient care. With this information, hospitals and health care providers can improve their operating procedures.

The findings of the study may help pave the way for revised medical care standards. In the future, medical facilities could mandate the use of presurgical trainings and surgical safety checklists.

When a health care provider fails to deliver proper treatment or departs from acceptable standards of medical care, a patient may be injured. Deviations from appropriate standards often result in surgical errors or other harm to patients.

If you believe that you are a victim of poor medical treatment or care, you should speak to a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney today. You deserve to be compensated for your harm.