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“No matter how hard we work and how smart people are, we will have failures”

Dr. Atul Gawande, has preached adoption of a simple set of questions that should be asked before any surgical team starts an operation.

When tested in a pilot program at eight hospitals around the world, from Seattle to Tanzania, it worked, cutting deaths and other serious problems almost in half.

Today he's gratified to see a larger, more rigorous trial in the Netherlands deliver similar results. Writing in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, Dutch authors say complications fell from 27 to 17 per 100 patients and deaths dropped from 1.5 to 0.7 percent at six high-standard hospitals after the checklist was used. They also compared results to six similar hospitals not using checklists at all.

… No matter how hard we work and how smart people are, we will have failures. And the evidence is, a team checklist can markedly reduce these failures,” Gawande said.

source: http://www.boston.com/news/health/blog/2010/11/surgical_checkl_1.html