Surgical “Check Lists” Improve Quality, Lower Costs

Read Full Analysis at >>> New England Journal of Medicine – Check Lists

As most anyone who has ever looked into an airplane cockpit while boarding, the pilot and crew were going through a check list to insure nothing in preparation for the flight was overlooked, assuring safety to the crew and all the passengers.

This check list method, it was found, can similarly provide favorable impacts on surgical outcomes. A January 29. 2009 article by the New England Journal of Medicine noted some of the benefits from using this process.  To quote from the background of the article:

“Data suggest that at least half of all surgical complications are avoidable. Previous efforts to implement practices designed to reduce surgical-site infections or anesthesia-related mishaps have been shown to reduce complications significantly. A growing body of evidence also links teamwork in surgery to improved outcomes, with high-functioning teams achieving significantly reduced rates of adverse events.

In 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) published guidelines identifying multiple recommended practices to ensure the safety of surgical patients worldwide.  On the basis of these guidelines, we designed a 19-item checklist intended to be globally applicable and to reduce the rate of major surgical complications.”

Read Full Analysis at >>> New England Journal of Medicine – Check Lists

Leapfrog Group Rates Hospitals

Additional consumer information regarding healthcare choices is one step in improving the healthcare system.  Among the organizations providing this type of data is Leapfrog Group.  Their website says it best.

From Leapfrog website:

The Leapfrog Group is a voluntary program aimed at mobilizing employer purchasing power to alert America’s health industry that big leaps in health care safety, quality and customer value will be recognized and rewarded. Among other initiatives, Leapfrog works with its employer members to encourage transparency and easy access to health care information as well as rewards for hospitals that have a proven record of high quality care.

The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the gold standard for comparing hospitals’ performance on the national standards of safety, quality, and efficiency that are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care. Hospitals that participate in The Leapfrog Hospital Survey achieve hospital-wide improvements that translate into millions of lives and dollars saved. Leapfrog’s purchaser members use Survey results to inform their employees and purchasing strategies. In 2009, 1206 hospitals across the country completed The Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

Go to Website >>> Leapfrog Group