WHO has recently shown that surgical deaths can be reduced by a third when hospitals follow their Surgical Safety Checklist. The checklist is very low tech. It includes questions like whether the patient has been properly identified, whether the proper tools are available, and whether everyone knows what kind of procedure is about to be done.
If a checklist so simple can save so many lives, I thought the technique could surely help us do better as well. So after reading about this study and their checklist, I’ve been pushing us to create checklists for all the common procedures at 37signals.
It’s funny. This is one of those things you know you should be doing, you might even have thought that we should do this, but you never get around to actually creating those checklists.