Safety Checklists Cut Down on Hospital Mortality Rates: Study

Checklists used to reduce the risk of hospital infections also decrease hospital mortality rates, according to the findings of a study conducted in Michigan hospitals. 

The rate of death among elderly patients in intensive care units (ICUs) fell 10 percent faster than hospitals in other states once a safety checklist designed to prevent infections was put in place, researchers say. The findings were published in a recent issue of the British Medical Journal.

The safety checklist was developed by doctors from Johns Hopkins University and first began being put in place in Michigan hospitals in 2004. Currently, about 70 percent of the state’s hospitals use the checklists, researchers say. The checklist is a simple procedure to ensure that health care professionals remember to wash their hands and take other basic precautions against the spread of germs.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

Researchers from Johns Hopkins tracked the mortality rate of patients 65 years and older in ICUs in Michigan and the surrounding states. They found that before the checklist was put in place, all of the states were showing slight declines in mortality rates. However, once the checklists were in place in Michigan, the death rate for elderly ICU patients began dropping 10% faster than those of surrounding states.

Johns Hopkins researchers said that they expected to find drops in the rates of infection, which they did, but the declines in the death rates were a surprise. However, studies of checklists in other hospitals have resulted in similar findings.

In December, a study by European researchers published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that checklists in operating rooms not only prevented wrong-site surgery mistakes, but it also cut in-hospital mortality in half.

In different study published in November in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that Veterans Health Administration medical teams who worked together and created a surgery checklist dramatically reduced mortality and medical mistakes in the operating room. When tactics such as pre-surgery briefings, teamwork and surgery checklists were employed at 74 VA hospitals over three years, surgery mortalities dropped 18 percent.

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of hospital infection lawsuits filed throughout the United States, as experts believe that most potentially life-threatening infections can be prevented if steps are taken by the hospital and staff.

Image Credit: |

0 Comments

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

AT&T Data Breach Class Action Claims Telecom Giant
AT&T Data Breach Class Action Claims Telecom Giant "Disregarded" Customer Financial Safety (Posted today)

A Missouri woman is one of the latest person to file an class action claim over the AT&T data breach, after the telecom company admitted that hackers stole millions of customers' personal information and sold it on the internet.

Plaintiffs Oppose Phased Discovery Over Suboxone Tooth Decay Risks in MDL
Plaintiffs Oppose Phased Discovery Over Suboxone Tooth Decay Risks in MDL (Posted yesterday)

Plaintiffs say a federal judge should not waste time on a phased discovery plan requiring them to first prove Suboxone strips can cause tooth decay, saying the science is obvious and such a plan could delay resolution of hundreds of product liability lawsuits.