Double checking is a standard practice intended to improve patient safety. It is used in different areas of health care, such as medication administration, radiotherapy and blood transfusion. Some studies have found double checking to be a useful practice, which has been endorsed by agencies and individuals. The confidence in double checking exists in spite of the lack of evidence substantiating its effectiveness.
In this study, Hewitt et al. asks: ‘How do front line practitioners conceptualise double checking? What are the weaknesses of double checking? What alternate views of double checking could render it a more robust process?’
The authors conclude that double checking deserves more questioning, as there are limitations to the process. Practitioners could view double checking through alternate lenses, and thus help strengthen this ubiquitous practice that is rarely challenged.