Avoiding preventable surgical mistakes using the AORN Surgical Checklist


Dianne Radigan

Vice President Community Relations Cardinal Health

Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Conn., is a 617-bed comprehensive care facility and teaching hospital that has a long history of dedication to patient safety.

It’s also committed to continuous improvement. So Dr. Scott Ellner, president of the Saint Francis Medical Group and director of Surgical Safety, applied for and received an E3 Grant from the Cardinal Health Foundation. The goal? To further minimize the risk of human error during surgery.

With that funding, Saint Francis established a Surgical Safety Task Force. It also administered the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Safety Attitudes Questionnaire, Operating Room Version© to all perioperative teams, to uncover the areas that would benefit most from procedural changes. Saint Francis then used the funding from the E3 Grant to support training in these areas.

The results? St. Francis estimates it has avoided $7.5 million in unnecessary operating room costs, 400 hospital readmissions and 2,500 unnecessary days spent in the hospital. Most importantly, it estimates this program has saved 150 lives.

Check out this full case study to learn more about how Saint Francis Medical Center leveraged an E3 Patient Safety Grant from the Cardinal Health Foundation to achieve these impressive results. Visit the Cardinal Health Foundation’s web site to apply for 2015 E3 Grant funding. The deadline is Dec. 5, 2014.