logo_psnetAccording to the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, most medical errors are not necessarily caused by mistakes due to lack of experience or training, but they can be attributed to “slips” or failures of schematic behavior.  A new Patient Safety Primer available via AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network shows how standardizing lists of steps and formalizing the expectation that every step will be followed for every patient can greatly reduce errors resulting from slips.

The Checklists primer provides as an example how a Michigan group successfully reduced central line–associated bloodstream infections through the use of checklists alongside intensive efforts to improve safety culture and teamwork.  AHRQ stresses in the primer that the use of checklists is not an appropriate approach for every situation.

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Primers guide you through key concepts in patient safety. Each Primer defines a topic, offers background information on its epidemiology and context, and highlights relevant content from the agency’s PSNet and WebM&M online resources.

To learn more and to read AHRQ’s full Patient Safety Primer titled Checklistsclick here.