Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saving lives with checklists

I've been fascinated with checklists, which appear constantly in my studies of office workers. This useful genre has spread out into various facets of literate work, along with close cousins such as the stack of papers, and serves to regulate work sequence. Now it's being picked up in medicine:
If a new drug were as effective at saving lives as Peter Pronovost’s checklist, there would be a nationwide marketing campaign urging doctors to use it.
My flagger sent me this New Yorker article, which is longish but fascinating. Technical communicators really should get involved in helping to developing and studying these checklists -- and grabbing some of the grant money involved.
Annals of Medicine: The Checklist: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

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