The WHO surgical safety checklist in a dental-teaching hospital department of oral surgery – a model for implementation

Eithne C C Fyfe, Carla Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The World Health Organisation's (WHO) surgical safety checklist was introduced in 2008. We describe a model for implementation of the surgical safety checklist in an oral surgery-teaching department and present the results of an audit of compliance as well as a review of relevant critical incidents.
Method: An adapted checklist for all surgical procedures was developed and introduced into our oral surgery-teaching department as a pilot in 2009 and as a protocol in 2010. Feedback regarding the pilot phase of checklist implementation was obtained from clinical staff, and 2 years of audit data relating to compliance with the surgical checklist was collected. Submissions of critical incidents over a 4-year period, prior to and after surgical checklist introduction, were also analysed.
Results: Feedback in the pilot phase of surgical checklist implementation from clinical staff was generally positive. Audit results display increasing levels of compliance with the checklist process in our unit. Two out of 102 critical incident reports reviewed were found to be relevant to the surgical checklist process and are presented.
Conclusion: The WHO surgical safety checklist can be successfully implemented in an oral surgery-teaching hospital setting. Levels of compliance with the checklist in our unit are high. Demonstrating an improvement in outcomes since the introduction of the checklist is a challenge, but there is limited evidence of improved patient care from reviewing critical incident data in our unit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-185
Number of pages5
JournalOral Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date27 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Oral
  • Surgery


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