The Value of Checklists

Checklists? Those lists I prepare each day and don’t help me get everything done – don’t really need to know more about them … or do you mean those checklists that airline pilots use to keep me from getting killed? Now, those I like.

Some of you will remember an earlier post in the GTD context about the value of checklists. Now comes the book, The Checklist Manifesto, inspired by issues found in operating rooms but expanded to the many areas where simple checklists are invaluable.

Checklists couldn’t be simpler. No real technology involved, anyone can create one for anything … but imagine that an operating room added a simple 5 step checklist and reduced the level of infection related to IV tubes in the operating room from 11% to -0-!

You don’t believe the list is a real “no-brainer”? Here it is:

  1. Wash your hands with soap
  2. Sterilize the patient’s skin
  3. Put sterile drapes over the entire patient
  4. Wear a mask, gown, and gloves
  5. Put a sterile dressing over incisions.

Not exactly rocket surgery, huh? You and I could have prepared that list if we thought about it a bit … and we probably thought they were already doing that in the operating room anyway, right?

I mean it’s a no-brainer … isn’t it?

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