There’s so much in the news about “checklists” in the medical context… and I’m convinced that it’s basically the Lean “standardized work” approach in a different name.
Checklists help prevent people from making mistakes of omission — forgetting a step when following a routine or doing the same work day in and day out.Making mistakes like that doesn’t mean you’re “stupid” – it’s a sign that we’re human. That’s why airline pilots
use checklists and more surgeons and other health care providers
are doing the same.
The other morning, I noticed a checklist being used at my hotel. It was a single sheet clearly labeled, “Morning Front Desk Activity Checklist.” There were about a dozen items that needed to be done, with room for checking them off. I’ll bet with the proper use (and oversight) of this checklist, there isn’t a morning where someone forgets to post the accounts of those checking out.
Hopefully, checklists aren’t viewed as insulting or demeaning. Checklists are common sense — they work. They help ensure that people don’t make mistakes or omissions… what’s wrong with that?
About LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Innovation and Improvement Services for KaiNexus.