Dr. Mark J. Lema guests posts at Health Commentary. He urges the design of competent and thoughtful safety systems:
Relying on professionals to do the right thing out of a sense of duty or through fear (malpractice suits) totally ignores the fact that to err is human. People will make serious mistakes because of misinterpretations, knowledge deficits or persistent habits of thought, even when they try to avoid them. Only systems that:
1. Avoid Reliance on Memory
2. Simplify Tasks
3. Standardize Procedures and Equipment
4. Use Constraints and Forcing Functions
5. Use Protocols and Checklists Wisely
will move medicine out of its cottage industry practices into the modern world of systems design.