Check out Annals of Medicine: The Checklist by Atul Gawande in the Dec. 10. 2007 edition of The New Yorker for an insightful exploration of the medical application of one of the most basic of quality tools – the checklist. I was astounded to learn that checklists aren’t a common practice in one of the most complex industries, the emergency room. Setting up a machine, preparing for an audit, readiness reviews, planning a kaizen all have routine lists. Flying a plane, launching a rocket, preparing for battle all have checklists. Gawande describes how in 2001 Peter Pronovost, a critical-care specialist at Johns Hopkins, developed a simple five step checklist for inserting central line IV’s that dramatically reduced the odds of line infections, and the resistance he faced in implementing something so simple and yet so effective.