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New pre-op checklists coming earlier in surgery cycle

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 11, 2013

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Operative checklists have been shown to reduce mortality, complications and even help surgical teams better handle sudden crises. Now the Strong for Surgery project in Washington state is taking the concept a step further, offering pre-operative checklists covering nutrition, blood sugar control, smoking cessation and medications to improve procedural outcomes.

Two sets of checklists are freely available, with one tailored for patients and the other for hospitals and clinics. The nutrition checklist, for example, advises patients preparing for surgery to eat protein-rich foods. The medication checklist prompts discussion with physicians regarding drugs such as anticoagulants that raise the risk of surgical bleeding complications.

The project is part of a broader surgical improvement initiative headed by surgeons at the University of Washington in Seattle. More information about implementing the Strong for Surgery checklists is available at the project’s website (link).

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