Checklists in Clinical Practice; Revisited

“Checklists turn out.. to be among the basic tools of the quality and productivity revolution in aviation, engineering, construction – in virtually every field combining high risk and complexity. Checklists seem lowly and simplistic, but they help fill in for the gaps in our brains and between our brains.” –  Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

In a previous blog post last year, I talked about what I believe to be an important driver for clinical excellence; the use of systematized checklists. In that post, I highlighted the main idea behind checklists and how they can help in the systematic and consistent application of clinical workflows in a precise and reproducible manner, ultimately increasing clinical efficiency and improving the quality of patient care.

That post generated many requests and inquiries from colleagues around the world asking for a follow-up post with further examples of checklists. In today’s blog post, I would like to introduce a few more checklist examples I personally implement in my practice for different parts of my clinical workflow, while explaining my rationale behind them.

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Checklists in Clinical Practice: A Simple Driver for Excellence

“Checklists seem able to defend anyone, even the experienced, against failure in many more tasks than we realized.”

Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

What Do We Mean By A Checklist?

As per the definition of Hales et al;  A checklist is an organized tool that outlines criteria of consideration for a particular process. It functions as a support resource by delineating and categorizing items as a list—a format that simplifies conceptualization and recall of information.

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