Medical College of Wisconsin
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Anaesthesia-specific checklists: A systematic review of impact. Anaesth Crit Care Pain Med 2020 Feb;39(1):65-73



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85070739442 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   16 Citations


Checklists are recognised as powerful tools to prevent avoidable errors in high-reliability organisations. In healthcare, the perioperative area has been a leading field in the development of a wide range of checklists. However, clinical literature on this subject is still sparse and heterogeneous, producing results that are sometimes conflicting. This systematic review assesses the current literature on perioperative routine and crisis checklists. Literature searches did not use a date limit and included articles up to March 2019. The methodological heterogeneity precluded combining data from the individual studies into a quantitative meta-analysis. Data are presented by means of a qualitative comparison with the reference groups based on a content analysis approach. Of the 874 identified articles, 25 were included in this review. Most identified studies (23, 92%) have shown that the use of checklists in anaesthesia can decrease human error, improve patient safety and teamwork, and increase quality of care. Beyond the WHO surgical time-out, anaesthesia-specific checklists have been shown to be useful for provider handoffs, emergencies, and routine anaesthesia procedures. However, literature on anaesthesia-specific checklists is still limited and very heterogeneous. More large-scale studies are necessary to identify an ideal anaesthesia checklist and its most appropriate implementation method.

Author List

Saxena S, Krombach JW, Nahrwold DA, Pirracchio R


Jens Krombach MD Vice Chair, Director, Professor in the Anesthesiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Operating Rooms
Patient Safety