HealthDay News — Anesthesia providers rate patient discomfort from use of checklists prior to anesthesia induction much higher than do patients, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology.
Sabine Nabecker, M.D., from the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues examined and compared the subjective level of patient discomfort caused by of use preinduction checklists with patient discomfort estimated by anesthesia providers in a prospective observational study. Data were included from 110 anesthesia providers and 125 nonpremedicated ear, nose, and throat or maxillofacial surgery patients. Providers and patients were asked to rate three statements: providers should use checklists in the presence of patients; use of checklists causes patient discomfort; and use of checklists reduces the risk of errors.
The researchers found that, overwhelmingly, patients agreed that checklists should be used in front of them by anesthesia providers. Patient discomfort was rated much higher by anesthesia providers than by patients. The possibility of reducing the risk of errors was rated high by both patients and anesthesia providers.
“Even though health care professionals acknowledge that checklists improve patient safety, they still remain reluctant to use the World Health Organization checklist in the presence of patients,” the authors write. “It seems that patient concern is for safety and not anxiety, whereas anesthesia providers would rather risk safety for the sake of patient comfort.”