Monday, December 31, 2007

Knowledge Isn't Automatically Used

Our friend Teri Carns from AK (Alaska, not Arkansas) sends along a couple of NY Times articles that we missed yesterday, not directly corrections sentencing but definitely warning us of the limits that still exist even when you move to evidence-based practice, which is something we desperately need to do in corr sent. This article describes the nonsense that the feds are now enforcing against checklisting before surgeries to stop infections, with some crap about how the record-keeping invades patients' privacy and may harm doctors by pointing out which ones aren't washing their hands the way they should (!!!). This article talks about how expertise can stifle innovation by blinkering students and practitioners into set ways of thinking and perceiving, making necessary "outside the box" approaches even harder. (I've always wondered if historians will agree that the massive higher education approach we've adopted in recent generations would prove to be a good thing, compared to the past when innovation and invention in so many areas seemed so much more widespread, precisely because we've truncated our imaginations so badly.) In any case, both articles point out how hard it is to get and keep new practice going, even when it's demonstrably proven to be better. A lesson to be remembered if/when we ever do get evidence-based practice rolling in what we do.

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