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AORN Comprehensive Surgical Checklist

The AORN Comprehensive Surgical Checklist can be downloaded and customized to meet a facility’s needs. The checklist includes key safety checks as outlined in the World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist and The Joint Commission Universal Protocol. It is designed for use in all types of facilities (eg, hospital ORs, ambulatory surgery settings, physician offices).

Using color codes to signify items from the WHO checklist, The Joint Commission Universal Protocol, and areas where the two overlap, the Comprehensive Surgical Checklist offers guidance for preprocedure check in, sign in, time out, and sign out. Open-ended questions are also included to encourage active participation from all members of the surgical team. In June 2016, items were added to the Comprehensive Surgical Checklist, including safety checks and team discussions (eg, fire risk assessment and prevention methods, wound classification, debriefing). No items were removed from the 2013 version of the checklist.

AORN would like to thank the perioperative RNs who participated in a workgroup convened to update the checklist, including members of the 2016-2017 AORN Board of Directors. The original Comprehensive Surgical Checklist was created in 2010 by Robin Chard, PhD, RN, CNOR (former AORN Perioperative Nursing Specialist); AORN Past-President (2010-2011) Charlotte Guglielmi, MA, BSN, RN, CNOR; contributors to the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, including Atul Gawande, MD, MPH; and representatives from The Joint Commission.

Download the Comprehensive Surgical Checklist in a PDF or Word document that can be adapted according to your facility's specific procedures. Join the campaign to promote patient safety and support time out for every patient, every time.