Saturday, January 23, 2010

Checklists for everybody but me

Doctors often overlook or omit steps in the multitude of tasks we perform every day. As Atul Gawande argues in “The Checklist Manifesto,” these are situations where a simple to-do list could help. ...

Doctors resist checklists because we want to believe our profession is as much an art as a science. When Gawande surveyed members of the staff at eight hospitals about a checklist developed by his research team that nearly halved the number of surgical deaths, 20 percent said they thought it wasn’t easy to use and did not improve safety. But when asked whether they would want the checklist used if they were having an operation, 93 percent said yes.
--Sandeep Jauhar, NYT, on doctor exceptionalism

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