Medical errors happen every day. Few make the headlines, but when they do, almost everyone who chimes in to comment offers the same type of solution for avoiding them. Three of the most common are guidelines, decision support and checklists.
From my vantage point as a primary care physician I agree that checklists, in particular, can enhance clinical accuracy, but some of the lists I have to work with in today’s healthcare environment are more likely to bog me down and distract me than focus my attention on the essentials. I call them choke lists.
Re-reading “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande, published in 2010, the year before my clinic implemented their first EMR, I am reminded of how much has changed since then.
How I work and where my attention is drawn has changed because of the minutia of Meaningful Use, Patient Centered Medical Home, Accountable Care and all the other new philosophies and forces that define primary health care.