Safer Surgery

Making Surgery Safer

Safer Surgery
More than 700,000 surgeries are performed in our state each year. In addition to correcting the health problem requiring surgery, it is critical to keep patients safe from medical errors during surgery.

The use of a surgical safety checklist, similar to a pilot’s pre-flight checklist, has been shown to help surgical teams communicate effectively in the operating room. This can prevent harm to patients including infections, wrong site surgery and even death. Successful checklist use in South Carolina can save up to 500 lives each year.

In 2011 the leaders of every hospital in the state committed to learn more, educate their staff members and use the checklist in their operating rooms.

South Carolina patient Diann Simms said the pre-surgery checklist she went through with the surgical team before her own operation made her feel safe. “I just thought…this is the most wonderful thing in the world! It really, really comforted me, and I felt like I was participating, and I wasn’t just the patient on the table – I was Diann,” she said.

A survey of South Carolina physicians showed that 80 percent believe surgical safety checklist use has prevented complications in their operating rooms. Also, 93 percent of doctors say they would want the checklist used during their own surgeries.