Checklists in Dentistry and Medicine

CHECKLISTs in Dentistry and Medicine.

The use of checklists in medicine and dentistry has evolved over time, and research has demonstrated their effectiveness in improving patient outcomes and enhancing efficiency. Let’s delve into the history and evidence:

  1. Early Beginnings:

Remember that checklists are powerful tools to standardize care, prevent errors, and improve patient outcomes. Their consistent use contributes to safer and more efficient healthcare delivery12.

  1. Surgical Checklists:
  2. Patient Safety and Error Prevention:
  3. High-Reliability Organizations (HROs):
  4. Evidence-Based Practice:
  5. Reporting Guidelines:

In summary, checklists play a vital role in medicine by enhancing safety, reducing errors, and promoting standardized practices. Their continued use and refinement contribute to better patient outcomes and efficient healthcare delivery.

  1. Surgical Safety Checklists:
  2. Clinical Best Practice Checklists:
  3. Standardized Order Set Checklists:
    • Used to ensure consistent application of evidence-based guidelines for specific conditions or procedures.
    • Examples include order sets for sepsis management, postoperative care, and stroke protocols.
  4. Daily Check Sheets:
    • Used to track daily tasks and ensure adherence to best practices.
    • Commonly employed in areas such as ICUs, where timely interventions are critical.
  5. Reporting Guidelines Checklists:
    • Not directly for patient care but crucial for research.
    • Examples include CONSORT (for randomized controlled trials), STROBE (for observational studies), and PRISMA (for systematic reviews).

Remember that checklists are powerful tools to standardize care, prevent errors, and improve patient outcomes. Their consistent use contributes to safer and more efficient healthcare delivery12.


  1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Monthly Checklist:
  2. Monthly Sterilization and Solution Report:
  3. Emergency Medical Kit Checklist:
  4. SteriChek Strips or Sterilizer Monitoring for Spores:
  5. Ultrasonic Cleaning Solutions:
  6. First Aid Kit:
  7. Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Checklist:
  8. Curing Lights:
  9. High- and Low-Speed Handpieces:

Remember that these checklists contribute to patient safety, infection control, and efficient practice management in dental offices. Regular adherence to these protocols is essential for successful clinical outcomes1.


Lets take a look at the results of this study that evaluated the use of checklists in simulated Emergency Room Crises…

Medical crisis checklists in the emergency department: a simulation-based multi-institutional randomized controlled trial


  1. Dryver1,2,3,
  2. Jakob Lundager Forberg4,
  3. Caroline Hård af Segerstad5,
  4. William D Dupont6,
  5. Anders Bergenfelz2,3,
  6. Ulf Ekelund1,2
  7. Correspondence to Dr Eric Dryver, Department of Emergency and Internal Medicine, Skåne University Hospital Lund, Lund 22185, Sweden;


Background Studies carried out in simulated environments suggest that checklists improve the management of surgical and intensive care crises. Whether checklists improve the management of medical crises simulated in actual emergency departments (EDs) is unknown.

Methods Eight crises (anaphylactic shock, life-threatening asthma exacerbation, hemorrhagic shock from upper gastrointestinal bleeding, septic shock, calcium channel blocker poisoning, tricyclic antidepressant poisoning, status epilepticus, increased intracranial pressure) were simulated twice (once with and once without checklist access) in each of four EDs—of which two belong to an academic center—and managed by resuscitation teams during their clinical shifts. A checklist for each crisis listing emergency interventions was derived from current authoritative sources. Checklists were displayed on a screen visible to all team members. Crisis and checklist access were allocated according to permuted block randomisation. No team member managed the same crisis more than once. The primary outcome measure was the percentage of indicated emergency interventions performed.

Results A total of 138 participants composing 41 resuscitation teams performed 76 simulations (38 with and 38 without checklist access) including 631 interventions. Median percentage of interventions performed was 38.8% (95% CI 35% to 46%) without checklist access and 85.7% (95% CI 80% to 88%) with checklist access (p=7.5×10−8). The benefit of checklist access was similar in the four EDs and independent of senior physician and senior nurse experience, type of crisis and use of usual cognitive aids. On a Likert scale of 1–6, most participants agreed (gave a score of 5 or 6) with the statement ‘I would use the checklist if I got a similar case in reality’.

Conclusion In this multi-institution study, checklists markedly improved local resuscitation teams’ management of medical crises simulated in situ, and most personnel reported that they would use the checklists if they had a similar case in reality.