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Safe Surgery Checklist (SSCL) Compliance

The surgical safety checklist is a patient safety communication tool that is used by a team of operating room professionals (nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and others) to discuss important details about each surgical case. In many ways, the surgical checklist is similar to an airline pilot’s checklist used just before take off. It is a final check prior to surgery, and is used to make sure everyone knows the important medical information they need to know about the patient, all equipment is available and in working order, and that everyone is ready to proceed.

SickKids implemented and began capturing our SSCL compliance in May 2010. The surgical safety checklist is considered “performed” when the designated checklist coordinator confirms that surgical team members have implemented and/or addressed all of the necessary tasks and items in each of the three phases: Briefing, Time Out and Debriefing. Therefore, the SSCL compliance indicator is a process measure, measuring the degree to which all three phases of the SSCL was performed correctly and appropriately for each surgical patient.

The percent compliance is calculated as follows:

# of times all three phases of the surgical safety checklist was performed
_________________________________________________________   x 100 = % compliance
                                              Total surgeries





May 2017


June 2017


July 2017


August 2017


September 2017


October 2017


November 2017


December 2017


January 2018


February 2018


March 2018


April 2018


May 2018



Some examples of items contained in the checklist:

The briefing phase

The "time out" phase

The debriefing phase

  • Verify the patient name and procedure to be done
  • Allergy check
  • Medication check
  • Operation site, side and procedure
  • Lab tests, X-rays
  • Patient position
  • Operation site and side and procedure
  • Antibiotics check
  • Surgeon reviews any important items arising from the case
  • Anesthesiologist reviews any important items arising from the case
  • Nurse reviews correct counts and any important items arising from the case

If you or your child undergo a surgery at SickKids, you can expect that the surgical safety checklist will be used as part of the procedure. It will be used by your health care team before, during and after your surgery to help the health-care team familiarize themselves with your medical history and any special requirements that may be needed for your individual case.