Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to patient safety?

The Surgical Safety Checklist is completed by the operating room team to ensure patient safety by reviewing the most common safety points. For example, the patient will be asked to confirm consent for the correct surgery, and whether the patient has allergies. Patients will be introduced to the surgical team and may hear a review of their medical surgical history, as it relates to their care.

The process is similar to the routine an airplane pilot uses to review all major safety points on an aircraft prior to takeoff. Our goal is to ensure your safety by confirming that operating team members have addressed all of the necessary safety measures before proceeding with surgery. Accurate completion of the surgical checklist involves addressing all three phases of the operative process:  Briefing (prior to patient receiving anesthetic), Time Out ( prior to skin incision) and Debriefing (  prior to completion of the surgery and transfer to Post Anesthetic Care Unit).  All hospitals across Ontario with operating rooms will be required to report  their use of the Surgical Safety Checklist through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, which will publicly report results twice a year beginning July 2010.

Originally developed as a tool to support patient care though professional preparation and teamwork, the consistent use of this checklist has been shown to reduce the rates of death and complications associated with surgical care.

For more general information on the checklist and its use in health care facilities, please visit safe surgery saves lives.ca