Do Structured Handovers and Checklists Improve Patient Outcomes?

Weekly Webinars: Connecting and Learning with CMS

Duration Duration: 1 hour 3 minutes
Free Open Access Materials > Healthcare Simulation, Research, Webinars On-Demand

Recorded: October 7, 2020

About this session

Hospital environments and clinical care has become complex. Managing interfaces across different aspects of the health system is critical, for example, patient flow across departments in a hospital. There has been a call for addressing these and other human factors in healthcare, but it is not clear what interventions are supported by data.

Dr. Saša Sopka, anesthesiologist and medical education researcher, and the Medical Director of AIXTRA – Aachen Interdisciplinary Competency Center for Training and Patient Safety has been working to systematically review this topic. 

During this presentation, Dr. Sopka will review major problems in healthcare and human factors, explore solutions implemented in aviation and other related fields, and describe the published experience in healthcare highlighting several unexpected outcomes and examples. Two focus areas will be the Safe Surgery Checklist and IPASS for handovers.

The presentation will be followed by an interactive Q&A where live audience can interact with the speaker.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the problem of complexity and interface management in healthcare
  • Describe the role of structured communication and checklists to improve patient outcomes.

Pre-webinar Preparation

Please read:

  • Starmer AJ, Spector ND, Srivastava R, West DC, Rosenbluth G, Allen AD, et al. Supplementary Appendix to Changes in Medical Errors after Implementation of a Handoff Program. New England Journal of Medicine. 2014;371(19). Available from:
  • Haynes AB, Weiser TG, Berry WR, Lipsitz SR, Breizat A-HS, Dellinger EP, et al. A Surgical Safety Checklist to Reduce Morbidity and Mortality in a Global Population. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2009 Jan 29 [cited 2020 Jun 27];360(5):491–9. Available from:


Demian Szyld

Demian Szyld, MD, EdM
Senior Director, Faculty Development Program
Center for Medical Simulation
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Szyld is an Emergency Medicine physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and a Lecturer at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Szyld was the first Simulation and Education Fellow at the STRATUS Simulation Center at BWH and is actively involved in the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and has chaired the Formal Training Affinity Group, led the Affiliations Committee and served as an Accreditation Site Reviewer and completed a term on the Board of Directors (2016-2019).


Sasa Sopka

Saša Sopka, MD, MME
Anesthesiology and ICU Physician
University Hospital Aachen
Medical Director
Medical Faculty
RWTH Aachen
Aachen, Germany

Visiting Faculty
Harvard Macy Institute
Boston, MA, USA

Dr. Sopka is an Anesthesiology and ICU Physician at the University Hospital in Aachen, Germany. He is the Medical Director of the AIXTRA -Aachen Interdisciplinary Competency Center for Training and Patient Safety at RWTH Aachen University. Dr. Sopka is Medical Faculty at RWTH Aachen and Visiting Faculty at the Harvard Macy Institute. His areas of expertise include patient safety, critical care medicine, and debriefing and feedback in simulated and clinical environments.