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Invited Commentary
May 13, 2020

Checklists Combined—Achieving More Than the Sum of the Parts

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 2Section of Endocrine Sarcoma, Department of Surgery, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden
  • 3Section of Hepatobiliarypancreatic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden
JAMA Surg. Published online May 13, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.1024

Checklists have the potential to make surgical care safer. The World Health Organization’s surgical safety checklist (WHO SSC) has, since its introduction more than 10 years ago,1 been rapidly implemented worldwide2 and reduced morbidity and mortality in a range of surgical procedures.3 However, preparation for surgery begins outside the operation room, and there can be many obstacles before a patient is home and well. The Dutch Surgical Patient Safety System (SURPASS) checklist, which starts in the ward preoperatively and follows the patient until discharge, was reported by De Vries et al4 in 2010 to increase safety. In that study, the investigators showed that SURPASS reduced mortality by almost half. However, we have had to wait until now to learn whether SURPASS and the WHO SSC in combination reduce complications even further.

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