Patient safety

WHO Surgical Safety Checklist

The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist was developed after extensive consultation aiming to decrease errors and adverse events, and increase teamwork and communication in surgery. The 19-item checklist has gone on to show significant reduction in both morbidity and mortality and is now used by a majority of surgical providers around the world.

Picture of the checklist

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Implementation of the Checklist

As with any novel tool, one of the biggest challenges has been to ensure successful implementation of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the evidence behind the Checklist? Is it applicable in low- and middle-income countries?

Endorsing organizations

A range of professional societies and organizations from countries worldwide have expressed their support for the creation of a WHO Surgical Safety Checklist and the Safe Surgery initiative.

If you endorse use of the Checklist, but your organization’s name is not listed, please contact