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 Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Customer Success for the technology company KaiNexus. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.