UC Care Check-A Postoperative Neurosurgery Operating Room Checklist: An Interrupted Time Series Study

Catherine Y. Lau, Gregory Seymann, Sarah Imershein, Alpesh Amin, Nasim Afsarmanesh, Jeffrey Uppington, Anna Aledia, Sarah Pretanvil, Bridget Wilson, Josefina Wong, Jennifer Varma, James Boggan, Frank P.K. Hsu, Bob Carter, Mitchel Berger, James D. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of neurosurgical operating room (OR) checklists to improve communication, safety attitudes, and clinical outcomes is uncertain. PURPOSE: To develop, implement, and evaluate a post-operative neurosurgery operating room checklist. METHODS: Four large academic medical centers participated in this study. We developed an evidence-based checklist to be performed at the end of every adult-planned or emergent surgery in which all team members pause to discuss key elements of the case. We used a prospective interrupted time series study design to assess trends in clinical and cost outcomes. Safety attitudes and communication among OR providers were also assessed. RESULTS: There were 11,447 neurosurgical patients in the preintervention and 10,973 in the postintervention periods. After implementation, survey respondents perceived that postoperative checklists were regularly performed, important issues were communicated at the end of each case, and patient safety was consistently reinforced. Observed to expected (O/E) overall mortality rates remained less than one, and 30-day readmission rate, length of stay index, direct cost index, and perioperative venous thromboembolism and hematoma rates remained unchanged as a result of checklist implementation. CONCLUSION: A neurosurgical checklist can improve OR team communication; however, improvements in safety attitudes, clinical outcomes, and health system costs were not observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-235
Number of pages12
JournalJournal for healthcare quality : official publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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