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A great article everyone could benefit from

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K-Mac
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My boss made me read this article over the holidays. Not only do I find it fascinating, but I think this could be applied to everyone's personal and professional lives, so I thought I would share.

I find it particularly interesting that many hospitals/hospital workers are reluctant to use checklists, when the benefits of using them is overwhelming and it makes their jobs easier.

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The techniques employed by Dr Pronovost remind me of some principles of information technology.

IT analysts begin by observing and documenting how organizations work and formulating "best practices" which capture the most effective way to get things done. When they design information systems, they try to make best practices part of the process, so that they are automatic and unavoidable. For example, Dr Pronovost did that when he studied the best way to prevent line infections and then rather than require staff to remember to use drapes and chlorhexidine, had the manufacturer include them in the central-line kit.

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My boss made me read this article over the holidays. Not only do I find it fascinating, but I think this could be applied to everyone's personal and professional lives, so I thought I would share.

I find it particularly interesting that many hospitals/hospital workers are reluctant to use checklists, when the benefits of using them is overwhelming and it makes their jobs easier.

What scares me about this article is in considering how much intelligence, diligence and talent it takes to get all this stuff right. Precisely the stuff that socialized medicine will breed out of the system. If the incidence of infections for lines is 4% under a partially for-profit system, consider what it will be when profit is basically outlawed. Not a pretty picture.

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I have first-hand experience of how complicated even the simplest tasks in a medical setting can be. There are simply too many individual tasks to automatize them all. I also have experience with people resisting said paperwork as an annoyance.

At the Tissue Bank, we used checklists: you had boxes for each task that you had to fill in with the time you completed them, and even WITH that paperwork we would still sometimes would make mistakes or forget a step. I can't imagine what would happen if we didn't track it all somehow. However, the CS staff frequently "played it by ear" meaning that we were frequently missing items from our prep kits, or we wound up doing it ourselves. It could get very frustrating, like trying to get a forgetful waiter to bring you your water.

I can't think of any tasks in my daily life that approach that level of complexity, though.

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