13 January 2008


What one small change could hospitals implement that would save US$175 million and over 1500 lives in one state in 18 months?

In an article in The New Yorker, Atul Gawande tells the story of Dr. Peter Pronovost, a critical-care specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital who instituted a checklist—that’s right—a checklist that led to others that led to exactly those savings. Gawande is a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and is on the staff of The New Yorker and Harvard Medical School. He is the author of two wonderful books that you should have in your collection: Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science and Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance.

This is an article you should bring to the attention of your chief of staff, head of medicine, and head of emergency medicine. It’s a low- to no-cost change that can provide big benefits!

Gawande, Atul, The Checklist, The New Yorker 10 December 2006, pp. 86-95.

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