HealthDay News — There has been a significant reduction in surgical mortality during the last decade in Scotland that is partially attributable to the implementation of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist, according to a study published online April 16 in the British Journal of Surgery.

George Ramsay, Ph.D., from the Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and colleagues assessed outcomes following the introduction of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist in 2008 as part of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme (2008 to 2010). Analysis included all admissions to any acute hospital (12,667,926, including 6,839,736 surgical procedures) in Scotland between 2000 and 2014.

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In the surgical cohort, the researchers found the inpatient mortality rate was 0.76 percent in 2000 and 0.46 percent in 2014. There was a 36.6 percent relative reduction in mortality associated with the checklist. Before implementation, mortality rates were decreasing by 0.003 percent per year, while annual decreases of 0.069 and 0.019 percent were seen during implementation and after implementation, respectively. During the same time period, there were no similar improvement trends in the mortality rates among the nonsurgical cohort.

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“While there are a number of factors that have contributed to this, it is clear from the research that the introduction of the WHO’s Surgical Safety Checklist in 2008 has played a key role,” Jason Leitch, M.P.H., Scotland’s national clinical director, said in a statement.

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