The Safe Surgery Program partners in a variety of ways with foundations, health care systems and institutions, and nonprofit organizations to advance the work of improving patient safety in surgery around the world. These partnerships foster innovative thinking, allow for testing of new ideas, and catalyze the dissemination of our research findings and tools.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

AHRQ invests in research on the United States’ health delivery system to better understand how to make health care safer and improve quality. Through funding from AHRQ, Ariadne Labs has been able to this goal by developing and pilot testing the Operating Room Crisis Checklists, as well as contributing to an ambulatory surgery center surgical safety toolkit. With support from AHRQ, the Branta Foundation, and the Rx Foundation, Ariadne Labs was able to launch a statewide program in South Carolina called Safe Surgery 2015 to implement the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist. This project was the first to demonstrate large-scale, population-wide impact of the checklist, showing a 22 percent reduction in post-surgical deaths in hospitals that completed the voluntary program.

The Branta Foundation

The Branta Foundation was one of the earliest supporters of the Ariadne Labs and the Safe Surgery Program and was instrumental in the Safe Surgery 2015 partnership in South Carolina.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an international leader in medicine, is a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The Safe Surgery Program has tested innovative tools and approaches within BWH and its affiliates, such as the Operating Room Crisis Checklists.

Clemson University

Ariadne Labs has partnered with Clemson University’s Dr. Ashley Kay Childers, a research assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering, on the Safe Surgery 2015 program in South Carolina and the Safety Program for Ambulatory Surgery, providing guidance on process improvement.

CRICO / Risk Management Foundation (RMF)

The Controlled Risk Insurance Company (CRICO) is a group of companies owned by and serving the Harvard medical community, with an established reputation as a leader in evidence-based risk and claims management. One of the earliest supporters of Ariadne Labs and the Safe Surgery Program, CRICO / RMF’s generous funding has been foundational in exploring risks to patient safety and testing nascent ideas to mitigate those risks.

Emergency Manual Implementation Collaborative (EMIC)

EMIC is a community of over 300 clinicians committed to improving management of uncommon, serious clinical events through the use of cognitive aids. The collaborative fosters adoption and effective use of emergency manuals to enhance our patients’ safety. Founded by Ariadne Labs and Stanford University, EMIC’s initial focus is perioperative care, while sharing our lessons with other fields of healthcare. The members of EMIC have been invaluable partners in the design and promotion of emergency manuals and cognitive aids.

Health Research and Education Trust (HRET)

The Health Research and Education Trust is a not-for-profit affiliate of the American Hospital Association (AHA) with a mission to transform health care through research and education. Ariadne Labs, HRET, and other partners collaborated on a toolkit for ambulatory surgery center clinicians and administrators to improve patient safety.


Lifebox is the only non-governmental organization devoted to safer surgery and anesthesia in low-resource countries. Founded in 2011 by Ariadne Labs founder and executive Director Atul Gawande, Lifebox addresses a critical barrier to implementing the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist by working to bring pulse oximetry to operating rooms that would have otherwise lacked the equipment and training. It has distributed 15,000 pulse oximeters to partners in 100 countries, reaching an estimated 10 million patients.

South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA)

South Carolina Hospital Association is a private, not-for-profit organization made up of some 100 member hospitals and health systems and about 900 personal members associated with institutional members. Ariadne Labs and SCHA collaborated to implement and study a statewide, voluntary program to implement the WHO’s Surgical Safety Checklist.

World Health Organization (WHO)

With offices in more than 150 countries, WHO staff work alongside government counterparts and other partners to achieve better health outcomes for all people. The WHO was the catalyst to the work that resulted in the Surgical Safety Checklist and played an integral role in the tool’s development, testing, and dissemination.

Rx Foundation

The Rx Foundation funds innovative projects to improve healthcare quality and access in the United States and was instrumental in the Safe Surgery 2015 partnership in South Carolina.

The Stanford Anesthesia Cognitive Aid Group

In 2011, the Stanford Anesthesia Cognitive Aid Group launched the Emergency Manual: Cognitive Aid for Perioperative Critical Events. The manual contains 23 protocols designed for real-time clinical use and was implemented with all Stanford operating room personnel. With our shared patient safety goals, Ariadne Labs and Stanford recognized the benefits of bringing our work together and created The Emergency Manual Implementation Collaborative (EMIC) in 2012. EMIC is designed to foster the dissemination and effective use of emergency manuals and cognitive aids to enhance patient safety in perioperative crises.