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Gifts from Aviation to Western Medicine

Posted Dec 24 2009 5:22am

My son is a pilot, now a captain for American Eagle with 25 years of flying experience.  Years ago, both he and his wife, who was at the time a flight attendant, taught their co-workers a required course called “Crew Resource Management”. It’s my understanding that a number of plane crashes were found to be the result of ineffective communication between the captain and co-captain.  Think of the fear and frustration you would feel as a co-captain if you knew smething was very wrong; the plane was going down and the captain wouldn’t listen.

The second piece of the puzzle is something we all know.  The flight crew has a checklist that is completed before each flight.  How simple and effective.

We are well aware that hospital oversights take a huge toll on patients and are very expensive.  The problem is seldom lack of knowledge.  It’s just that people are human.

The New York Times reviewed a book by Atul Gawande “The Checklist Manifesto How To Get things Right”.  Many hospitals worldwide are providing checklists of essential interventions for various procedures. Most hospitals support the  nurses in completing the lists and intervening if a step is missed. The results are remarkable.

“The study began in 2008…….. Without adding a single piece of equipment or spending an extra dollar, all 8 hospitals saw the rate of major postsurgical complications drop by 36% in the six months after the checklist was introduced. deaths fell by 47%,”

Check our the article “A Hospital How-To Guide That Mother Would Love” along with the work of Dr. Peter Pronovost of Johns Hopkins.

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