Skarsgard ED: Recommendations for surgical safety checklist use in Canadian children's hospitals. Can J Surg. 2016 Jun;59(3):161-6.
There is ample evidence that avoidable harm occurs in patients, including children, who undergo surgical procedures. Among a number of harm mitigation strategies, the use of surgical safety checklists (SSC) is now a required organizational practice for accreditation in all North American hospitals. Although much has been written about the effects of SSC on outcomes of adult surgical patients, there is a paucity of literature on the use and role of the SSC as an enabler of safe surgery for children.
The Pediatric Surgical Chiefs of Canada (PSCC) advocates on behalf of all Canadian children undergoing surgicalprocedures. We undertook a survey of the use of SSC in Canadian children's hospitals to understand the variability of implementation of the SSC and understand its role as both a measure and driver of patient safety and to make specific recommendations (based on survey results and evidence) for standardized use of the SSC in Canadian children's hospitals.
Survey responses were received from all 15 children's hospitals and demonstrated significant variability in how the checklist is executed, how compliance is measured and reported, and whether or not use of the checklist resulted in specific instances of error prevention over a 12-month observation period. There was near unanimous agreement that use of the SSC contributed positively to the safety culture of the operating room.
Based on the survey results, the PSCC have made 5 recommendations regarding the use of the SSC in Canadian children's hospitals.
Wright JG, Menacher RJ, Canadian Pediatric Surgical Wait times Study Group: Waiting for children's surgery in Canada: the Canadian Paediatric Surgical Wait Times project. CMAJ. 2011 Jun 14;183(9)
In addition to possibly prolonged suffering and anxiety, extended waits for children's surgery beyond critical developmental periods has potential for lifelong impact. The goal of this study was to determine the duration of waits for surgery for children and youth at Canadian paediatric academic health sciences centres using clinically-derived access targets (i.e., the maximum acceptable waiting periods for completion of specific types of surgery) as used in this Canadian Paediatric Surgical Wait Times project.
We prospectively applied standardized wait-time targets for surgery, created by nominal-group consensus expert panels, to pediatric patients at children's health sciences centres across Canada with decision-to-treat dates of Sept. 1, 2007 or later. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 30, 2009, patients' actual wait times were compared with their target wait times to determine the percentage of patients receiving surgery after the target waiting period.
Overall, 27% of pediatric patients from across Canada (17,411 of 64,012) received their surgery after their standardized target waiting period. Dentistry, ophthalmology, plastic surgery and cancer surgery showed the highest percentages of surgeries completed past target.
Many children wait too long for surgery in Canada. Specific attention is required, in particular, in dentistry, ophthalmology, plastic surgery and cancer care, to address children's wait times for surgery. Improved access may be realized with use of national wait-time targets.