Checklists ID supplements and verify safety steps

Pre-op and post-op forms for charts save time

Preoperative and postoperative safety checklists, as well as forms that collect information about the patient’s medications and dietary or herbal supplements, are important tools for outpatient surgery programs focusing on patient safety.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers free checklists as well as safety reports for ambulatory and office-based surgery programs.

The "Dietary Supplement Intake Form" lists 38 herbal medicines and vitamin supplements for patients to review. The form has space for the patient to indicate the dose, how often each week the supplement is taken, and the reason for taking the supplement. Blank spaces at the bottom of the form also give room for the patient to fill in any other supplements that might not be included on the list.

In addition to the dietary supplement form, a preoperative checklist prompts the surgeon to ensure that information such as the history and physical, lab work, electrocardiogram, patient risks, list of all medications, and the dietary supplement form are included in the chart prior to beginning surgery. The preoperative checklist also prompts the surgeon to verify site identification and patient identification as well as other safety activities.

To reach these forms and reports, go to www.aaos.org. Under the "special projects" headline, choose "patient safety," then choose "safety checklists" on the left navigational bar.