Surgical Safety Checklist Implemented at RMC Proven to Improve Patient Safety


  Members of the RMC surgical team use the Surgical Safety Checklist to reduce patients’ risk of post-operative complications.
A recent study found successful implementation of the Surgical Safety Checklist significantly improves patient outcomes. In 2010, the Regional Medical Center became the first hospital in South Carolina to adopt the use of the checklist.

The state-wide study conducted by the South Carolina Hospital Association, Ariadne Labs and Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health is the first to demonstrate the large-scale impact of the Surgical Safety Checklist, which was developed by the World Health Organization in an effort to reduce the risk of post-operative complications.

“The Regional Medical Center was proud to be the first hospital in South Carolina to implement the Safe Surgery Checklist, and we have witnessed its positive impact on patient safety firsthand,” said Interim RMC CEO and President Bert Whitaker. “In fact, as a result of the success of the program in the operating room, safety checklists have now been implemented in several other RMC departments that work with surgical patients.”

In 2016, RMC received the Safe Surgery Hospital Designation from the South Carolina Hospital Association and the Safe Surgery: SC Leadership Team after becoming 100 percent compliant with use of the Surgical Safety Checklist for a several year timeframe.

“As technology has improved, surgical procedures have become increasingly complex,” said Chair of the Surgery Department Dr. Gary Delaney. “This complexity can lead to an increased risk of complications. The Surgical Safety Checklist empowers our team to take ‘timeouts’ to ensure patient safety.”

The 19-item checklist includes confirming the patient’s identity before administering anesthesia, marking the site of the surgery, confirming allergies, and other steps to ensure patient safety.

“It is important that we use this model with every patient, every time,” said Surgical Quality Coordinator Libby Myers. “We have seen a positive shift in the safety culture as a direct result of the Safe Surgery Checklist adoption and use.”

RMC provides a variety of surgical services, including general, vascular, orthopaedic, dialysis access and endoscopic procedures as well as bariatric or surgical weight loss procedures. RMC operates a state-of-the-art surgical unit with nine operating suites and a separate suite solely dedicated to caesarean section births in the Her Place maternity care unit. RMC’s Dialysis Access Institute features four operating suites for dialysis access procedures and provides training for physicians in dialysis access procedures from around the globe.

About the Regional Medical Center

The RMC healthcare system includes a 286-bed, acute-care hospital accredited by The Joint Commission with Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification, and Level III Trauma Center designation, as well as 22 primary, specialty care practices. RMC is affiliated with MUSC Health, the largest academic teaching facility in South Carolina, to further enhance select healthcare services for patients in the region.

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