Study shows a simple checklist in the operating room can save lives

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CHARLESTON, SC -- Can a simple safety checklist save lives? A new study says, yes it can! Fourteen hospitals in South Carolina completed a program using World Health Organization's "Surgical Safety Checklist" in the operating room, and the feedback has been positive!

According to the research from Harvard University, the hospitals saw a 22% drop in post-surgical deaths only three years after implementing the program - while other hospitals in the state showed no reduction.

Great news, but what exactly does the "checklist" consist of?

Well, it includes 19 items for surgeons to check off, some that appear to be pretty simple, like was the patient identified? Was the surgical site marked? And were the preventive antibiotics given?

But aren't these steps something patients expect doctors to naturally follow in an operating room?

Well, if WHO's checklist is something that can truly save lives in the operating room, then we hope it's a procedure the entire country will eventually adopt and follow.