Polish Ministry of Health officially recommends Surgical Safety Checklist

The Minister of Health of Poland, Dr Ewa Kopacz, recommends the use of a perioperative control chart based on the Surgical Safety Checklist form recommended by the World Health Organization.

The checklist helps to avoid:

  • carrying out operations in other patients than scheduled;
  • carrying out other than planned operation / carrying out operation incorrectly;
  • carrying out operations on the healthy parts of the body - in the case of geminate organs.

According to the Dr Kopacz, perioperative control chart should be introduced in all wards and surgical units in Poland. The card should be signed by the coordinator, which may be the anesthesiologist performing anesthesia for surgery, as well as by members of the surgical team, i.e. the surgeon who is carrying out the procedure or first assistant and by the anesthetic nurse who is preparing the patient for the anesthesia and taking care of the patient afterwards. A perioperative control chart should be attached to the patient documentation and it should be part of the medical history. The purpose of the introduction of the chart is to minimize the possibility of side effects, patient’s death or postoperative complications.

Moreover, Dr Kopacz emphasizes the need of paying particular attention to the following precautions: hygiene, a standardized way of conducting medical history, marking field operations by the surgeon before putting the patient in the operating room, confirming the designation of the operation field by all staff present in the operatory room before the operation and the use of suitable markers in order to avoid erasing marks of the operation field during the preparation process.

The Monitoring Centre for Quality in Health Care in Poland published a chart form and guidelines for its implementation. Hospitals were invited to improve the safety of surgical procedures through the use of perioperative control card. The solution has been positively accepted by the Association of Polish Surgeons, the Polish Society of the Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, the Quality Promotion Society and the National Consultant in the field of general surgery.