Surgical Safety Checklist Q&As

Patient safety remains the most important priority for Headwaters Health Care Centre and this involves ensuring a safe experience for patients who undergo surgery here. Our patients can expect safe, high quality care, and one tool used to help ensure a positive patient care experience is a surgical safety checklist.

The Surgical Safety Checklist is a communication tool that is used by operating teams to discuss important details about each surgical case. The checklist helps ensure that important safety steps are followed for each and every operation.

As of July 30, 2010 all hospitals in Ontario that perform surgical procedures within fully equipped operating rooms are required to publicly report compliance with the Surgical Safety Checklist. Use of the checklist has been shown to reduce rates of mortality and surgical complications.

What is a surgical safety checklist?
A surgical safety checklist is completed by the Operating Room team (nurses, surgeons, anaesthesiologists, and others), before and after a surgical procedure. to discuss important details about each surgical case.

What information is included in a surgical safety checklist?
Before you have your surgery you will be asked some questions as part of a safety checklist process. You may also hear doctors and nurses in the operating room confirming information. Don't worry, this is part of the routine to ensure the delivery of safe patient care. The surgical safety checklist is used by your health care team before, during and after your surgery to help the health care team familiarize themselves with your medical history and any special requirements that may be needed for your individual case.

Why am I asked so many questions?
An important part of providing safe care is confirming each patient's identity with two or more identifiers. an identifier may be you confirming your correct name and spelling, date of birth, health card number, or other piece of identification. If you have questions about any information or questions being asked, don't hesitate to ask.