Surgical Checklist

Implementing the Safe Surgery Checklist

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are encouraging the use of a common surgical safety checklist for all surgeries. The hospital association is participating in a collaborative effort with the Surgical Clinical Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP) to build upon this work and create a checklist that optimizes safe surgery.

The New England Journal of Medicine reported on January 14, 2009 that: "Introduction of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist into operating rooms in eight diverse hospitals was associated with marked improvements in surgical outcomes. Postoperative complication rates fell by 36% on average, and death rates fell by a similar amount."  

Atul Gawande Event

Following the WSHA presentation by Atul Gawande, M.D. on the “Checklist Manifesto,” a debrief session was facilitated by Dr. Lawrence Schecter, Chief Medical Officer, Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. Download a summary of the discussion to learn about implementation strategies used by participating hospitals.


Checklist - Washington(generic version)
Checklist - SCOAP 
Ambulatory Surgery Checklist Draft
Checklist - Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children's Hospital modified check list
Culture Assessment - Pre Implementation (optional)
Culture Assessment - Post Implementation (optional)



New England Journal of Medicine Article
Educational Video Clip (filmed at University of Washington):

Helpful Websites


This is a collaborative effort of:

American College of Surgeons
Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses First Choice Health
Foundation for Health Care Quality
King County
Puget Sound Health Alliance
Regence Blue Shield
Surgical Care Outcomes Program
Uniform Medical Plan
Washington Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Washington State Health Care Authority
Washington State Hospital Association
Washington State Medical Association
Washington State Nursing Association
Washington State Society of Anesthesiologists