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Using Checklists



Do you use check lists in your profession?

A few weeks ago I was listening to Harvard Medical School, Surgeon Atil Gawande talk about his book The Checklist Manifesto on National Public Radio.

Dr. Gawande discussed the complexities of surgery and how many things there are to keep in one’s head and remember. He related that doctors are human and like many other professions they miss stuff. “There are a thousand things that can go wrong, we are inconsistent and unreliable because of the complexity of care,” he stated.

Gawande explained how as an experiment they brought a two-minute checklist into operating rooms in eight hospitals, and received great results. The average number of complications and deaths dipped by 35 percent.

Checklists Catch Problems

The last statement I heard on this on air interview was Gawande stating, “I have not gotten through a week of surgery where the checklist has not caught a problem.”

Well I definitely want to read this book but it is going to have to wait in line. Between the holiday gift giving and a co-worker I have a 6 deep supply of books to read this winter.

Checklists Work In Carpentry Too

As a carpenter I find that lists and check lists help me organize and help my jobs run smoother. Especially when there are many different trades people involved.

A construction supervisor who doesn’t keep a timeline schedule relies heavily on the trades to determine the status of a job and on building inspectors to verify the quality. If progress isn’t monitored on a daily basis, bad or unfinished work can go undetected and slip through the cracks. This can result in costly problem correcting or adding steps out of sequence.

Deadlines can also be jeopardized by not making sure the daily goals are met. This can result in a project not being finished on time resulting in a disgruntled customer.

Checklists can increase the chances that a building or remodeling project will be finished on time and in a quality manner.

Do you use check lists in your profession?

If you do how?

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