An Article on Check-lists in Nature (Yes Nature!)

Further to our recent post on check-lists, the topic has piqued the interest of the famous scientific journal Nature.[1] They discuss the variable success of check-lists and effectively conclude that “it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it.” This makes the CLAHRC WM Director consider what a check-list really is – is it an intervention or just one of many tools that can be used to change behaviour? When the CLAHRC WM Director was a pilot, check-lists were there to remind you of things that might otherwise have been forgotten. However, it is possible to hypothesise that check-lists in most health contexts function more as a cultural tool. If so, they are but one of many routes to behaviour change. The CLAHRC WM Director posits that once the care has improved, check-lists can be removed with impunity – their effect is indelible. This is a testable hypothesis.

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director

Reference:

  1. Anthes E. The Trouble with Checklists. Nature. 2015; 523: 516-8.
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