Introduction The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist (SSC) is a communication tool that improves teamwork and patient outcomes. SSC effectiveness is dependent on implementation fidelity. Administrative audits fail to capture most aspects of SSC implementation fidelity (ie, team communication and engagement). Existing research tools assess behaviours during checklist performance, but were not designed for routine quality assurance and improvement. We aimed to create a simple tool to assess SSC implementation fidelity, and to test its reliability using video simulations, and usability in clinical practice.
Methods The Checklist Performance Observation for Improvement (CheckPOINT) tool underwent two rounds of face validity testing with surgical safety experts, clinicians and quality improvement specialists. Four categories were developed: checklist adherence, communication effectiveness, attitude and engagement. We created a 90 min training programme, and four trained raters independently scored 37 video simulations using the tool. We calculated intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) to assess inter-rater reliability (ICC>0.75 indicating excellent reliability). We then trained two observers, who tested the tool in the operating room. We interviewed the observers to determine tool usability.
Results The CheckPOINT tool had excellent inter-rater reliability across SSC phases. The ICC was 0.83 (95% CI 0.67 to 0.98) for the sign-in, 0.77 (95% CI 0.63 to 0.92) for the time-out and 0.79 (95% CI 0.59 to 0.99) for the sign-out. During field testing, observers reported CheckPOINT was easy to use. In 98 operating room observations, the total median (IQR) score was 25 (23–28), checklist adherence was 7 (6–7), communication effectiveness was 6 (6–7), attitude was 6 (6–7) and engagement was 6 (5–7).
Conclusions CheckPOINT is a simple and reliable tool to assess SSC implementation fidelity and identify areas of focus for improvement efforts. Although CheckPOINT would benefit from further testing, it offers a low-resource alternative to existing research tools and captures elements of adherence and team behaviours.
- Quality improvement
- Patient safety
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request. The data are available upon reasonable request.
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Contributors All authors contributed substantially to this work per Committee on Publication Ethics requirements, approved the final version and agree to be accountable for the accuracy and integrity of the data presented. RM-S is responsible for the overall content as the guarantor.
Funding This work was part of a larger study on device safety funded by Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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