The landing is being called a miracle, but to a pilot, it's no miracle: It's a testament to excellent performance under pressure by pilot-in-command Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III and his first officer and crew. How did they perform so well? They ran down a checklist. Why did they reach for the checklist immediately, almost instinctively, and perform so well as a group? Because they trained many, many, many times to do exactly that.
Last week's New England Journal of Medicine article made clear the value of checklists to medicine. But patient-safety analyst Bob Wachter asks an additional vital question: Even when medicine has such measures, how often do we train to implement them? The answer, he finds, is not often:
We need to continue to work, as aviation has for the past generation, to train our "pilots" to become Sullys. Because we in healthcare are flying over some pretty cold rivers, each and every day.(Hat tip to KevinMD.com for calling attention to Wachter's post.)