Iatrogenesis is a terrible condition, especially considering that our first rule is to do no harm. Checklists are a fantastic way to ensure that we don’t forget something – it’s one thing to not do because you don’t know, but a terrible waste if you just plain forget.
Which is why checklists are slowly becoming the future of medicine, in places like intensive care and operating theatres, thanks to pioneering work by people such as Atul Gawande. Surgery is always a prime target, as the complexity of the operation and the amount of co-ordination can be immense, and in fact this article from NEJM shows us that many mistakes happen outside the theatre.
A checklist that covers the entire pathway in the perioperative stage would be useful – and proves so here. The complication rate per 100 patients dropped from about 27 down to just under 17, which even translated to a drop in in-hospital mortality of 1.5%.
Checklists are going to be everywhere – why not read this article and introduce it to your own hospital?
Check it out here.
IMAGE: US Navy