How hospitals are like cockpits

We’ve talked a couple of times about the growing push for checklists in surgery and elsewhere in hospitals, promoted by Hopkins professor and MacArthur “genius” grant-winner Dr. Peter Provonost and modeled on the use of checklists in aviation. (This stuff interests me not just because it offers so much promise for MRSA reduction but because, as constant readers will remember, I am a pilot and am married to an avionics engineer.)

Provonost and colleagues have a very interesting piece in the current Health Affairs that takes another aviation concept — the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) — and applies it to medical errors. CAST is a public-private partnership from across the aviation spectrum — government, airlines, labor, manfacturers — that came together in the wake of several terrible accidents to do system-wide analyses of fail points. Provonost proposes that health care could vastly reduce errors by implementing a CAST model.

The cite is: Provonost, PJ, Goeschel CA, Olsen KL et al. Reducing Health Care Hazards: Lessons From The Commercial Aviation Safety Team. Health Affairs 28, no. 3 (2009): w479-w489 (published online 7 April 2009; 10.1377/hlthaff.28.3.w479)]


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