Checklists are better than ‘fake’ innovations

Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

In a May 27 commentary for The New York Times, Ezekiel J. Emanual writes that the Affordable Care Act provides "incentives for hospitals to reduce infections, errors and readmissions," gives "doctors more information on the comparative effectiveness of medical interventions," and, emphasizes "preventive care over expensive services." The law will thereby "stimulate a panoply of true medical innovations" including checklists such as a simple 5-item checklist which "could reduce infection rates from intravenous catheters to nearly zero." These infections reportedly "cost an average of $45,000 per patient, and cause as many as 28,000 deaths among intensive care unit patients each year."

Mr. Emanual feels that things like checklists deserve more attention than many pseudo-innovations, technologies which increase costs without improving patients’ health.


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