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Use of WHO checklist in interventional breast radiological procedures


Increasing awareness of safety in healthcare provision has resulted in incorporation of risk-reducing strategies. The WHO checklist is now increasingly being used by interventional radiology. Is it relevant for the interventional breast radiologist?


A questionnaire for assessing awareness and use of the WHO checklist used for surgical procedures (or a modified checklist) was devised. Responses were collected and analysed via Survey Monkey.


Eighty-one complete responses were received and analysed. In total, 93.83 % were aware of the WHO checklist; 83.95 % worked in departments where this was used by IR; and 46.91 % used the checklist individually or as a department. The list was locally devised in 43.21 %. Of those who did not employ use of the list, 27.16 % had considered its use. A total of 24.69 % had never considered using it. Fifty-four per cent opined it was relevant to a therapeutic vacuum-assisted procedure with various individual procedures having scores ranging from 12 to 47 %. Adherence to CQC standards was cited as the reason for use of the checklist. Naysayers quoted increase in time required and poor work flow as reasons for not using it.


Breast radiological intervention procedures, although low risk and with low complications, remain health interventions. An adverse event should not be a necessary trigger for change of practise. Opinion on use of additional safeguards such as an intervention checklist, while divided, suggested that a modified checklist is called for in complex procedures involving recall of patient at a different date, multiple radiologists involved and therapeutic procedures under vacuum guidance.

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Kulkarni, T., O'Connor, A. Use of WHO checklist in interventional breast radiological procedures. Breast Cancer Res 17 (Suppl 1), P32 (2015).

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