January 15, 2009 | Ken Reed

Surgery Checklist Reduces Surgery Deaths

Eight hospitals reduced the number of deaths from surgery by more than 40% by using a simple 19-step pre-surgery checklist.


The report in the New England Journal of Medicine says that if all hospitals adopted the checklist, they could save tens of thousands of lives and $20 billion ANNUALLY. 

This same article appeared in the January 15 edition of USA TODAY.  This article goes on to state that:

– Surgeons are good at making sure they do most of the things most of the time, but not very good at doing all of the things all of the time.
– An operation’s success depends far more on teamwork and communications skills than on an individual surgeon’s skill.
– The checklist takes about 2 minutes to complete.
– It is modeled on checklists used on the aviation industry.
– The checklist has nothing to do with high tech solutions, instead focusing on basic safety measures.

It is almost frustrating to read an article like this.  TapRooT® has been teaching these exact principles for 20 years, and now the World Health Organization funds a study that repeats exactly what our TapRooT® investigators would find if they had conducted their own investigation.  In fact, after reading the article, I’d swear the author had just attended a TapRooT® course.  You can scan through this article and attach the TapRooT® root causes directly to his individual statements.

Luckily, I’m more of an optimist.  This study proves that we can make a difference and save lives right now.  Even the most basic TapRooT® investigations have the opportunity to fnd and correct these types of relatively simple mistakes.  All we have to do is DO IT!

New England Journal of Medicine article:

Checklist (including video of proper use):

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