Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Should we expand the surgical checklist to include "patient-centredness"?

Dave's comment on my last post made me think further about checklists in the OR.   In Saskatoon, we use our version of the WHO surgical checklist.  It took a while to implement, but now it is firmly part of the local culture.

The surgical checklist addresses the technical aspects of surgery - perioperative antibiotic use, anaesthetic preparation, correct side and site of surgery - but, maybe there should be a "patient-centredness" checklist as well.  It could include items that focus on the patient's experience of care.

For example:

Communication needs (language barrier, impaired hearing)
Family/friends accompanying patient - how to contact them after surgery, who will do that
Team commitment to be attentive during key parts of procedure (induction of anaesthetic, awakening, patient transfers)
Consideration for patient's feelings (avoid loud personal conversations, etc.)

This would let the OR team discuss some of these difficult behaviour/culture issues within the safer context of "what's important for the patient" rather than "what's wrong with your behaviour".

What would you add to an operating room patient-centredness checklist?

No comments:

Post a Comment