Surgical safety checklist and operating room efficiency: Results from a large multispecialty tertiary care hospital

Harry T. Papaconstantinou, William R. Smythe, Scott I. Reznik, Stephen Sibbitt, Hania Wehbe-Janek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Background The Surgical Safety Checklist (SSC) improves patient safety and outcomes; however, barriers to effective use include the perceived negative impact on operating room (OR) efficiency. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of SSC implementation on OR efficiency. Methods All operations at our large multispecialty tertiary care hospital were reviewed for 1-year pre- and 1-year post-SSC implementation. OR efficiency included operating room time, operation time, first starts on time, same-day cancellations, and OR disposable cost. Results A total of 35,570 operations were reviewed: 17,204 pre-SSC and 18,366 post-SSC. There was no difference between groups for operating room time (P =.93), operation time (P =.66), first starts on time (P =.15), and same-day cancellations (P =.57). The mean OR disposable cost was significantly lower ($70/operation) for the post-SSC group (P <.01). Conclusions The implementation of an SSC does not negatively impact OR efficiency and should not be considered a barrier to effective use. Our data suggest that SSC use can reduce overall cost per surgical procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-860
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2013



  • Cost
  • Efficiency
  • Operating room
  • Operative services
  • Surgical Safety Checklist
  • World Health Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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