Box 1.

Important design considerations for patient-completed checklists

  • Identify the ‘risks’ that the checklist should address in cooperation with stakeholders (ie patients, clinicians and hospital management).

  • Ensure the objectives of the checklists are communicated clearly in the checklist itself and use a title that reflects the objectives.

  • Draft checklist items, with consideration of the following:

    • no more than 10 items per heading / pause point

    • the language is simple and jargon-free

    • a clear font (eg sans serif), with dark text on a light background

    • ensure each item has a clear recommendation on the required action.

  • Include instructions on how to use the checklist.

  • Where possible, ensure that the checklist adjusts itself depending on the relevance of item to avoid patients having to answer too many irrelevant questions.

  • Plan when the checklist should be used, considering how it will be integrated with existing processes and procedures, utilising natural breaks or opportunities in the workflow.

  • Consider how the checklist can be adapted to suit different units/teams/contexts.

Where the checklist is electronic
  • Include instructions on how to download and update the checklist.

  • Test the usability of the digital interface.

  • Ensure adequate data protection systems are in place.

  • Consider how the checklist will be accessible to those who cannot use a digital device.