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World Health Organisation (WHO) CHECKLIST

The UCH Education Centre has launched a new safety programme to support the implementation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) checklist in operating theatres. It involves theatre teams simulating the use of the checklist.

The checklist is part of a major drive to make surgery safer and aims to reduce the risk of avoidable complications and deaths as a result of surgery.

The checklist identifies three main phases of operation, each corresponding to a specific period in the normal flow of work: before the induction of anaesthesia (“sign in”), before the incision of the skin (“time out”) and before the patient leaves the operating room (“sign out”).

In each phase a checklist coordinator must confirm that the surgical team has completed the listed task before it proceeds with the operation.

The “sign in” phase, guarantees the coordinator has checked whether the surgical site on the patients body was properly marked and whether the patients known allergies were checked.
The “sign out” phase, guarantees instruments, sponges and needles have been counted to check that none of these is accidentally left behind in the patient’s body.

On the 1st September 2009 a team from UCLH theatres used the simulation theatre to pilot the WHO checklist course which will be rolled out Trust wide as mandatory training.

It is essential that simulations are as realistic as possible and the involvement of the full team is required to achieve this. Successful implementation is about creating the right attitudes and behaviours within the team.
Simulated learning allows this to be developed in a safe and realistic environment.

For more information please contact Loxley Matthews on 020 7380 9113 or email

posted in News by UCH-admin

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