About the Project
In the rare but serious event of a crisis in the operating room or Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), one would hope there would be a concise yet comprehensive resource available to guide healthcare teams. Such was the thinking behind the development of the Operating Room Crisis Checklists (ORCC) in Victoria. Created in 2016 by Dr. Sara Waters and colleagues in anesthesiology, surgery, and nursing, the team developed 24 checklists in the ORCC booklet. Over the past five and a half years, these checklists have been used to manage real emergencies in the operating rooms, as well as to train learners across many disciplines. However, since 2016 there have been updates to major guidelines such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and further evidence for interventions that should be incorporated into these checklists.
To do the reviewing, editing, updating, and replacing of the ORCC checklists at both Victoria General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital, Dr. Waters and a team of anesthesiologists and nurses worked with two staff members from Island Health’s Clinical Learning and Knowledge Services. Doing this work as a team ensured agreement on the edits as well as accuracy of information. Beyond the benefits to the ORCC, this activity built collegial connections among the team.
After compiling the necessary updates, the next task was to communicate with staff who may be involved in a crisis in the OR about the existence of the ORCC, and then assess the utility of these tools.
In a final evaluation survey conducted by the team, 91% of respondents had used the checklists and 50% of those have used them in actual crisis situations in the OR involving patients. Others reported using them in teaching capacities, for personal knowledge review and in simulation training. 100% of respondents found them to be worthwhile and 82% of respondents found them to be worthwhile in “providing the safest care to patients”. OR staff welcomed these tools as a replacement for having to rely solely on memory. “It facilitates teams working cohesively in stressful times of crisis” says Dr. Waters.