Checklists are often simple and straightforward, and very short checklists can carry the unfortunate implication that the person using the checklist can’t remember to do simple things. But sometimes they can’t. Or don’t. The NY Times has an article discussing the rewards – in lives saved – of medical professionals using checklists, sometimes very simple one, to ensure that they don’t forget – or skip out on (do you wash your hands every single time you go to the bathroom?) – important steps under pressure, particularly those that may not seem as important as others.

The practice of medicine gets a little more scientific here , and rewards clinical intuition a little less, by reducing the human element involved in medicine. I’d bet you money that most patients would think that a doctor who uses a checklist is less competent than one that doesn’t, because they’re following delineated steps set up by someone else.

And that’s the dilemma: you can get the best healthcare available, or you can get healthcare that feels intuitively right.

If we keep going, healthcare may wind up being executed by health professionals but determined by information professionals. Good news for us science of info people…although I could just be expecting this potential from based on personal bias…
Using checklists (NYT article).