Thursday, January 22, 2009

Check List Saves Lives

A study published online by the New England Journal of Medicine found that, a simple 19-item checklist reduced deaths and complications from surgery by more than a third. The list is requires members of the surgery team to coordinate and confirm their individual understandings and actions and it even includes a surgical team "time out" before incision.

One of the lead authors told NBC News the checklist was expected to produce maybe 10-15 percent improvement, but that he was very surprised to see 38 percent improvement in reduced deaths and complications. And 93% of the surgeons participating in the study said they would want the checklist to be used if they were ever in surgery. As Brady Augustine noted in MedicaidFrontPage, "it seems that our health care system has focused so much on high-tech wizardry, that we have forgotten that the simple things often make the biggest difference."


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