Almost every human being will, by the end of his lifetime, experience a visit to an intensive care unit. In the United States, on any given day, you can find up to 90,000 people in intensive care units. Those staggering numbers demand fine-tuned and precise care from medical care professionals, who are often stressed to breaking point. In more and more hospitals around the country however, a simple checklist is helping deliver such care, saving lives.
The checklist is the brainchild of Dr. Peter Pronovost, and is familiar to Indiana medical malpractice attorneys, doctors and nurses everywhere. Several hospitals around the country have reported substantial success in reducing the number of medical errors made in intensive care units with the use of the checklist. However, for a very long time, it remained impractical to assume that a simple checklist could help reduce medical errors and actually save lives.
In 2001, Dr. Peter Pronovost, a critical care specialist at Johns Hopkins developed a checklist aimed at preventing central line-associated bloodstream infections. The checklist was simple.
• Wash hands with soap
• Clean skin with chlorhexidine
• Place a sterile drape over patient
• Wear sterile mask, gown, and gloves
• Place a sterile dressing over the site after a catheter has been inserted