Could the implementation of a trauma checklist improve quality of care?
© Ashton 2015
Published: 11 September 2015
Medical error in trauma care remains common . Checklists are a cognitive aid that can be employed to standardise practice and minimise error. Their usage is ubiquitous in other high-intensity professions, such as aviation. Following the success of the World Health Organisation's surgical safety checklist they are now in the process of developing a trauma care checklist. My aim was to evaluate whether a checklist could be applied to the trauma setting to facilitate high quality, standardised care.
Audit the prevalence of human factors during trauma calls in a major trauma centre in the UK
Literature review of the use of checklists in medicine
At least one incidence of negative human factors affecting trauma team performance was observed during each trauma call with the average incidence being three times per resuscitation.
Evidence suggests that poor communication is the leading cause of medical error. This was corroborated by my audit findings.
A review of literature shows that checklists in are effective tools for standardising care by reducing error and improving compliance with guidelines .
It is essential that organisational safety culture is addressed and the subject of human error is acknowledged to improve care provision and enhance patient safety. Checklists represent a promising method of tackling this issue that should be used synergistically with existing management strategies.
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