Thursday, January 15, 2009

Simple Ideas Can Return Huge Savings

Savings both in financial and human costs:
A simple operating room checklist, similar to the one pilots use in the cockpit before takeoff, can dramatically reduce major complications in patients and even save lives, according to a just published study.

Performing that brief task in eight hospitals in as many countries caused an overall drop in the death rate by more than 40 per cent and major complications by more than a third, according to the New England Journal of Medicine study released online today and in print later this month.

* * *

Data collected from 3,733 patients before implementation of the checklist and 3,955 after the checklist was implemented, showed an overall drop in major complications from 11 per cent to 7 per cent. Inpatient deaths following major operations dropped from 1.5 per cent to 0.8 per cent.
Potential annual cost savings? Possibly $15 to $25-billion per year.

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