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Communication, Teamwork, and Checklists Save Lives in Spine Surgery...and more!

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:32pm

San Francisco Chiropractor Comments:

Images I just read a really interesting article in the Feb 2009 issue of The Back Letter. The article talks about how medical errors kill an estimated 100,00 Americans per year and how implementing a simple "Surgical Checklist" resulted in a 40% reduction in inpatient deaths.

"The results are startling," said senior author Atul Gawande, MD of Harvard University School of Public Health. They indicate that gaps in teamwork and safety practices in surgery are substantial and can be improved with simple intervention."

My thoughts: Of course, nowhere else is it more crucial that everyone be on the same page than the emergency room or operating table...but many other important things in life depend on communication,  including the function of our bodies, our relationships, our businesses, our jobs, and just about anything else you can think of.

I know in my chiropractic clinic, we try to maintain procedures, checklists, scripts, and work flows so that the patient is able to achieve better outcomes with less time and less stress, and less costs.

To the extent that we are able to accomplish this, depends on each individual employees understanding, desire, and willingness to execute the' s an ongoing process. I have found that those that strive to be the best at executing the plan, also excel in other' s all connected and it works the other way also.

So...not only can communication, teamwork, and checklists save can also help increase your earning potential, learning potential, and health potential. At least that' s how I feel about it. 

Hey...if you don' t want to do it right and continually strive to do it better...don' t do it at all.

Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in downtown San Francisco. 

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