This isn’t a new idea. The aviation industry and commercial building contractors have relied on this method for decades – with great results. Medicine has been a bit slower to adopt the checklist method, but as the field has grown inceasingly complex over recent decades, easily preventable errors beccame more frequent despite technological advances.
Atul Gawande’s informative and accessible book, The Checklist Manifesto, convincingly posits implementing checklists in the medical practice realm. Due to the exponential rise in knowledge and increasingly pluralistic societies, it’s virtually impossible not to overlook some essential part of treatment which can undo the most diligent care. Many of the more sophisticated health care facilities are introducing checklists into their standards of care, and when you or your advocate are assessing care providers, asking about the use of checklists is a valid question which promotes your safety and chances of successful treatment.
Gawande has written several books about the practice of medicine — all excellent. Still, you might want to put the “Manifesto” at the top of your reading list.