Our Perspectives on Safety section features expert viewpoints on current themes in patient safety, including interviews and written essays published monthly. Annual Perspectives highlight vital and emerging patient safety topics.
with commentary by Anne Collins McLaughlin, PhD, Checklists, October 2010
The use of checklists is a primitive yet remarkably effective strategy for ensuring accuracy in complex tasks. Checklists have long been used in fields such as aviation and space exploration but have only recently made headway in medicine. The reluctance of medical professionals to adopt checklists is often framed as pushback against "more paperwork" and "cookbook medicine," or due to disbelief in their effectiveness. However, a rich literature has helped establish many best practices in checklist design, and health care now stands to benefit.