New Documentary Chronicles 200 Years of Medical Progress

Part 1 features Gawande discussing safe surgery checklist & the effect it's had in reducing deaths in the OR.

The New England Journal of Medicine has just released a fascinating documentary in three parts entitled Getting Better: 200 Years of Medicine.
Part 1 From Rough to Refined: The Rise of Surgery takes the viewer from the horror of amputations done sans anesthesia to the discovery of ether to the minimally invasive techniques of the future.

This segment prominently features surgeon, Harvard professor and best-selling author Atul Gawande discussing his safe surgery checklist and the dramatic effect it has had in reducing deaths in the operating room. The checklist effectively prevents the surgical team from forgetting a crucial and potentially lifesaving step.

In 2010, Gawande and his team chose to model the checklist in South Carolina hospitals after learning of the progressive quality and safety work being done in the state. Gawande continues to collaborate with the SCHA and SC hospitals to develop a surgical safety standard that states across the country can follow.
Parts 2 and 3 examine the historical treatment of cancer and HIV/AIDS. The documentary is available to view in its entirety on the NEJM site here.