Checklists & Ayurveda

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Checklists for Medical Excellence
A recent report from the HSPH emphasizes that teams using checklists were 74% less likely to miss key life-saving steps in care during emergency situations than those working from memory alone.

This perhaps equally applies to non-emergency situations that typically is applicable in the case of Ayurveda, i.e., even when time is not a constraint in assessing and responding to a patient’s medical condition – in the Kriyakrama room or outside. This is an area where tremendous scope exists in Ayurveda to standardise and in turn to contribute to enhanced medical outcomes. We at AyurVAID use (from inception and then continuously evolving) checklists in almost all aspects of medical management at our centres. This is also closely linked with the fact that checklists turns best practices into HABIT and builds a culture of excellence within the caregiving team (or Sushrushaks).

Incidentally, it was an Indian, +Dr.Atul Gawande, a US based surgeon, who made this popular in the US with his book ‘The Checklist Manifesto’. Incidentally, while on the subject, Gawande published his first book, “Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science”, in 2002.  His second book, “Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance”, was released in April 2007. It discusses three virtues that Gawande considers to be most important for success in medicine: diligence, doing right, and ingenuity. Interesting 3 qualities…the second one reminding us of the ethical basis (patient first) for the practice of medicine. I am yet to read the book, but assume that is what he meant.

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