Doctors make mistakes. How can those in the medical community avoid the avoidable errors that sometimes cost patients their lives? The answer is the checklist. We’ll cover studies that show how a simple checklist can help doctors avoid making avoidable mistakes.
Is there enough communication in medicine? Can a checklist help doctors, nurses, and specialists better work together to keep patients safe? We’ll cover how the humble checklist can improve communication in medicine and dramatically impact patients.
In 2006, before the implementation of the WHO surgical safety checklist, the World Health Organization (WHO) asked surgeon Atul Gawande to organize a group to solve a problem: Surgery was increasing rapidly worldwide, but surgical patients were getting unsafe care so often that surgery was a public danger. WHO sought a global program that would reduce avoidable harm and deaths from surgery. We’ll cover how the WHO surgical safety checklist was developed, how it’s been implemented in hospitals across the country, and what results hospitals have seen from using the WHO surgical checklist.
Advances in medicine have brought with them the need for the existence and expansion of medical specialties. This specialization in medicine has many benefits. Does it have downsides? We’ll cover the history of medical specialization and why it doesn’t always serve patients well.
In trying to do the right things, the challenge of the 21st century is ineptitude, rather than ignorance. It used to be the reverse. Can a simple checklist, say, a heart attack checklist, help prevent avoidable mistakes in medicine? We’ll cover how more knowledge, in medicine particularly, has led to more ineptitude, and we’ll discuss how doctors adopting a simple list like a heart attack checklist can save lives.
In medicine, the four vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and respiration) have become an important regular check on how a patient is doing. Missing one can be dangerous. Would a medical checklist help make sure that each step was completed? We’ll cover the benefits of medical checklists in a variety of medical fields and look at how they can significantly reduce complications and save lives.
In 2001, a critical care specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Peter Pronovost, decided to try a checklist for doctors, targeting a common problem in ICUs: central line infections. How could the hospital improve central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABI) prevention? We’ll cover Pronovost’s simple technique for CLABI prevention and look at its success throughout the nation.
What are the causes of teenage smoking? How can we prevent teenage smoking? We’ll use the principles of epidemics to explore possible solutions to the problem of teen smoking.
In the mid-1990s, a syphilis epidemic exploded in Baltimore. The disease had been present in the city previously, but the confluence of a few, relatively minor factors created a tipping point; all three rules of epidemics were at work. What are the three rules of epidemics? How do these rules transcend medical epidemics and apply to the spread of ideas? Learn how the lessons from Baltimore’s syphilis epidemic apply to your life–small factors can make a big difference.
How are depression and isolation connected? How has social isolation increased with advances in technology? What is the link between social isolation and suicide? We’ll cover the rise of isolation in the Information Age and how depression and isolation reinforce each other and can become contagious.