Explore BrainMass

Healthcare checklists

"The Checklist Manifesto" by Atul Gawande suggested that the checklist method used by the airline industry and the healthcare industry can save lives. A step-by-step, detailed and intuitive checklist can ensure that people in healthcare remember to perform every step in a process and monitor each of those steps. Discuss your opinion of the benefits and risks associated with the focus on the checklist method. Have you used a checklist previously? Is this a method you would consider adopting in the future?

Solution Preview

The responsibilities of those in healthcare are complex and detail oriented. Even well-trained and intelligent people can make mistakes when performing complicated tasks. The idea behind using checklists in healthcare is that a step-by-step list of the actions that need to be performed for certain situations can be developed. Using this list can prevent people from forgetting important steps in the process.

Benefits/Pros (AHRQ, 2012; Health Research & Educational Trust, 2013):
-Helps prevent errors due to lapses in concentration, distractions, or fatigue. (These are the most common types of errors in healthcare settings.)
-Helps prevent errors caused by lack of information and inconsistent procedures.
-Standardizes and formalizes what steps should followed for each patient, which ensures a consistent approach (so each patient receives equal care).
-Reduces overall morbidity and mortality (i.e. reduces injuries, complications due to procedures, and other patient harm).
-Improves the quality of care for patients.
-Aids staff in being familiar with what is going on with a particular patient when there are shift-changes.
-Improves the hospital discharge process.
-Create a sense of confidence that a process has been completed in a ...

Solution Summary

Healthcare checklists are lists developed to help reduce errors in healthcare settings. Research has shown that these lists can greatly reduce errors in certain types of situations. However, checklists are not the solution to all types of errors or problems that arise in healthcare settings.