Monitor Use

To give clinical leadership and OR teams ongoing encouragement and support, you need to know when, how, and why they are using the checklists. Assessing checklist usage identifies both challenges to resolve and improvements to celebrate.

Awareness is critical to improvement

The purpose of monitoring checklist use is not to judge individual performance, but to improve quality of care. It’s very important that your teams understand that observations and audits are collecting data for quality improvement only.

Directly observing use of the emergency checklists may be impossible given the unpredictability and scarcity of these events. However, there are two ways we encourage monitoring of checklist use: by observing simulation exercises and by conducting retrospective reviews of critical events. Both of these mechanisms for monitoring use will provide helpful metrics to track emergency checklist implementation.

After you collect data through observations of simulation exercises and retrospective reviews of critical events, you’ll need to learn lessons from the data and then share those lessons with your leadership and team members on a regular basis. Storing data in a paper- or computer-based spreadsheet will allow you to organize data and find trends. You might ask some or all of the following questions:

  1. When are the checklists being used?
  2. How often are the checklists being used?
  3. How is use of checklists changing over time?
  4. How could the checklist be improved?

Providing data feedback and reporting are critical to success

Regardless of how you document these findings, data feedback and reporting are crucial to successful implementation. Everyone involved with using the checklists must understand when and how to make changes to solve ongoing implementation challenges. Successes should be shared regularly in order to encourage ongoing use of emergency checklists. Many successful quality improvement programs give social recognition to those who are positive leaders in the implementation process.

Next step: Spread Beyond the OR