Check Marks to Save Lives

An article on the CBC’s website today mentions that intensive care units in Toronto will be using a checklist to ensure the best medical care for patients. Yes, a checklist.

It’s one of three ICU checklists Dr. Damon Scales has adopted in his Toronto hospital.

“When I tell people about these things they sort of have the reaction of saying, ‘How could you ever forget that?’ said the clinical associate in the department of critical care medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “But this is a busy place with complicated patients and these are the kinds of things that can get lost in the shuffle.”

It’s such a simple solution that most people don’t think the checklist is real. In December the New Yorker ran an article on how checklists are the best thing to happen to medicine since, well, seemingly forever. The New Yorker article is a great read.

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