"Mistake" with Deadly Flu Virus

Forbes.com:

The lead of this story reads: “An influenza virus that caused the deaths of more than 1 million people in 1957 was mistakenly sent to thousands of laboratories around the world during the past six months, health officials confirmed Wednesday.”

This seems like a case where, I don’t know, a little “Poka Yoke” or error proofing would have helped? The ultra deadly special flu virus wasn’t either A) specially marked or B) kept away from regular access?? Between this and medical mistakes, you’d think we could better trust doctors and scientists. This proves — we’re all human, and mistakes get made. The goal of error proofing is to make it difficult (or impossible!) to make a human error.

Update: Officials are still trying to determine the cause — one question they’re trying to answer: did the lab not know this strain was so dangerous?

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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