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Gawande on Checklists: Why Don't Hospitals Use Them?

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 3, 2011

Gawande participated in a panel discussion with some Scripps leaders, and as the questions started to run their course, he brought up the topic of healthcare reform, and the fate of the Affordable Care Act legislation, now awaiting another year's worth of debate before the Supreme Court decides to weigh in. Or not.

"We go outside now to a deluge of negativity. And I find it depressing, this national debate on FoxNews or MSNBC. The reform bill is a disaster or the alternatives are a disaster. And it can feel like there's no way forward.

What we will brace ourselves for is a year of fighting over whether we will repeal or defend, and neither of which I where I want to be, or where you want to be.

"Where we want to be is we want to improve, because whatever comes out of Washington will be imperfect.... And none of that debate is by people who are making care for people better day in and day out.

"We need one community, just one, that will lower costs and make care in their system better. And the rest will follow. Washington and Sacramento won't be those communities, but this one could be," Gawande said.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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3 comments on "Gawande on Checklists: Why Don't Hospitals Use Them?"


Robert Finney, Ph.D. (4/8/2011 at 12:15 PM)
Original investigations on Kaiser Permanente fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement are posted on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0h7tUymj2Y and www.hmohardball.com. Dr. Gawande promotes Kaiser's scams. Robert D. Finney, Ph.D.

Fernando Petry (2/4/2011 at 6:57 AM)
I wholeheartedly agree with Gawande. Currently working on checklist for ICU rounds due to the complexity of IV's, fluids, meds, labs that are forgotten on a daily basis. To acheive six sigma improvement in healthcare we should use checklists. Only our arrogance and lack of humility prevent us from saving lifes.

Tom Gable (2/3/2011 at 3:19 PM)
Nice piece! And I recommend his book, the Checklist Manifesto. It's a quick read and can help any firm [INVALID] technology, medical, scientific and even PR (!) [INVALID] better organize for results and make sure you take the right steps to get there.