Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Surgical Safety Checklist Sprint 10th March 2009

The IHI are leading a "sprint" to have every hospital in the USA test the World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist at least one time with one operating room team. Sprint Day is 10th March 2009. The version in England is more marathon-like with a target set for February 2010 for all hospitals and teams to be using the checklist. So, we have two different approaches to getting this life-saving tool implemented.

If I had to place a bet as to the effectiveness of each strategy I would go for the sprint. Yes, the aim here is only for one team in each hospital to test it out. This strategy is going for coverage by having every hospital participate. The marathon version is going for both coverage as well as completeness - wanting every team to be using it. I expect the Sprint version will migrate into a marathon so completeness is developed in each of the hospitals that tested the checklist.

I'm placing my bet on the Sprint because I would rather the checklist got tested soon. If a team finds it helps and is not too onerous then they'll gossip about it in the surgeon's coffee lounge. To me that is preferable to planning sessions and meetings about how to implement marathon-style. Better to get on and test it.

As a patient, there is no choice - the sooner the better.

The IHI has all the tools you need to get started So what are you doing? Sprinting, doing a short jog or planning for a marathon?

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