"Checklists" Innovator is One of Time’s 100

Peter Pronovost – The 2008 TIME 100 – TIME

It’s so nice to see someone like Dr. Peter Pronovost on the “most influential” list, even though he’s out of place among the Miley Cyruses of the world (also on the list, ugh).

If you’re regular Lean Blog reader, you know about Dr. Pronovost and his “checklists” — a perfect adaptation of the Lean “standardized work” concept to medical settings.

TIME explains:

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A critical-care researcher at Johns Hopkins University, Pronovost may have saved more lives than any laboratory scientist in the past decade by relying on a wonderfully simple tool: a checklist.

The checklists help dramatically reduce preventable patient infections and the practice spread beyond Johns Hopkins:

Michigan hospitals began implementing Pronovost’s checklists in ICUs in 2003. Within three months, hospital-acquired infections at typical ICUs in the state dropped from 2.7 per 1,000 patients to zero. More than 1,500 lives were saved in the first 18 months.

The only burning question is why this method is not spreading more quickly!!??!!

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California and Spain top a long list of places that soon hope to replicate Michigan’s results. Pronovost says the checklist protocol could be rolled out nationwide within two years for less than $3 million.

Hat tip to the Wachter’s World blog for pointing this out, read what Dr. Wachter has to say about Dr. Pronovost.


Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down to post a comment. Click here to be notified about posts via email. Learn more about Mark Graban’s speaking, writing, and consulting.


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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 book 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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