Background: This is a prospective two-stage interventional study carried out at one of the main operating theaters in Basrah General Hospital. The study lasted for 6 months (from May to October 2013).
Objectives: The study was designed to assess the adherence of staff in the operating theater to items of services covered by a World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist and to measure the effect of active reminding of them about such list. The study is in line with the vision of the Ministry of Health to provide high quality care.
Methods: A structured questionnaire form was prepared for the purpose of the study. It is an adapted list of the first edition of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist. The study consisted of two phases: Phase One, which involved the observation of procedures, instructions and labeling of patients before, during and after the surgical operation. This phase was completed without informing the involved staff about any specific requirement regarding adherence to safety measures and checklist. A total of 269 surgical operations (patients) were covered in this phase. In phase Two, full group instructions and explanation of the safety check list was made to operative theater staff. The same manner of observation on each patient was done for the rest of this phase and covered 109 surgical operations (patients).
Results: A substantial improvement in the adherence of staff was observed following the active intervention by the researchers to remind all parties of the importance of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist.
Conclusions: it is feasible to use Surgical Safety Checklist and its use must be continuously monitored to make the best of its application.