March 8, 2010 | Ken Reed

Medical Checklists: Peter Provonost on CNN

We discussed the use of checklists in the medical industry in a previous blog entry.  Yesterday, CNN’s Sanjay Gupta interviewed Dr. Peter Provonost, a medical researcher at Johns Hopkins University.  He was selected in 2008 as Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People.  He had a great discussion on the use of checklists in medical industry, specifically hospitals.  He mentioned a statistic that there are over 30,000 preventable deaths each year in the US due to inadvertent infections that could be mitigated by the use of simple checklists.  He said that consistent use of checklists in the medical industry would save more lives than any other single medical therapy currently being developed.  Quite a statement!  Something as cheap and as inexpensive as implementing simple checklists could save more lives than many of the more expensive therapies now under development.
What do you think?  With so much research indicating the benefits of checklists, why have they not yet come into widespread use?

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