How are Check Sheets Being Used in Healthcare?

How are Check Sheets Being Used in Healthcare?

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Check sheets are finding active application in many different industries nowadays, and they have become an integral tool for lean leaders worldwide. Their versatility and ease of use are factors that have contributed to their increased use, and the healthcare industry is one of the primary adopters of the idea. There’s a good reason for that too, as healthcare workers are among those that can benefit the most from a systematic means for verifying process steps and analyzing results.

Analyzing Treatment Results in a Systematic Manner

A great use for check sheets in healthcare is for keeping track of a patient’s status, marking different procedures and their corresponding results. This can allow a facility to perform statistical analysis on the data obtained in order to look for patterns that might normally not be as obvious. There are different types of check sheets that can work in this context, and each facility typically comes up with their own specific version that suits the needs of their patients and staff best.

There are also some standardized versions that a care facility can use to base their own designs on. In general, when implementing something like this in a facility where it’s never been used before, it’s a good idea to draw on common knowledge and work with designs that have already seen active use in other places.

Preventing Mistakes in Critical Procedures

It’s a well-known fact that fatigue is a major problem in healthcare, and hospitals keep working to combat that factor and minimize the risk of it interfering with the work of physicians. There have been various attempts in this direction over the years, but by far nothing beats the simplicity and elegance of a check list before major procedures with the potential for failure.

The idea is as simple as it sounds – a check list is used to ensure that every critical detail of the operation is in place before actually getting started. This is a systematic approach that can easily cover large volumes of requirements without complicating the work of the physician unnecessarily.

It’s a technique commonly seen in the field of surgery, where one small mistake can often prove fatal for the person on the table. There is a lot at stake in those cases, and surgeons are additionally among the most stressed-out professionals in this field. It makes perfect sense that they would be among the first adopters of this idea, and it’s seen some great results in that field over the years.

It’s interesting to note that as we’re moving towards an era of better and more powerful technologies that can assist us in every aspect of our work and lives, many people still prefer to stick to the old “system” of pen and paper for working with their check lists. There is something to be said about the raw feeling that this produces, but there is another factor at play here that most people don’t pay attention to – reliability.

In an environment like a surgery, the last thing you want is a brief technological failure to kill your access to your checklist, making things significantly more complicated in the surgery that will follow. When working with something simple, but reliable, like pen and paper, things can be a lot easier to handle.


Check sheets are seeing active use in healthcare, and this should not be surprising in the slightest to anyone familiar with the idea behind them, and the potential benefits they can bring to an organization of any scale. They are a simple, yet powerful tool that can literally save lives, and the faster their adoption spreads, the better results we’re going to see in the long run.


The post How are Check Sheets Being Used in Healthcare? appeared first on Shmula.

By: Shmula Contributor
Posted: November 30, 2017, 5:00 pm

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