The Checklist Manifesto

The Checklist Manifesto

How to Get Things Right

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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The New York Times bestselling author of Better and Complications reveals the surprising power of the ordinary checklist

We live in a world of great and increasing complexity, where even the most expert professionals struggle to master the tasks they face. Longer training, ever more advanced technologies--neither seems to prevent grievous errors. But in a hopeful turn, acclaimed surgeon and writer Atul Gawande finds a remedy in the humblest and simplest of techniques: the checklist. First introduced decades ago by the U.S. Air Force, checklists have enabled pilots to fly aircraft of mind-boggling sophistication. Now innovative checklists are being adopted in hospitals around the world, helping doctors and nurses respond to everything from flu epidemics to avalanches. Even in the immensely complex world of surgery, a simple ninety-second variant has cut the rate of fatalities by more than a third.

In riveting stories, Gawande takes us from Austria, where an emergency checklist saved a drowning victim who had spent half an hour underwater, to Michigan, where a cleanliness checklist in intensive care units virtually eliminated a type of deadly hospital infection. He explains how checklists actually work to prompt striking and immediate improvements. And he follows the checklist revolution into fields well beyond medicine, from disaster response to investment banking, skyscraper construction, and businesses of all kinds.

An intellectual adventure in which lives are lost and saved and one simple idea makes a tremendous difference, The Checklist Manifesto is essential reading for anyone working to get things right.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Metropolitan Books, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780805091748
0805091742
Characteristics: 209 p. ; 22 cm.

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TechWriter1
Oct 10, 2016

I was drawn to this book because I’m addicted to making lists, I’ve benefited from using checklists in my work, and I heard a recording of the author talking about using checklists in medicine to save lives. I was so impressed by what Gawande said that I immediately went to the Library to get the book so that I could learn more. A checklist is such a simple and effective tool that I’m amazed that they are not more widely used and that he had to work so hard to convince his peers of their efficacy.

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StarGladiator
Aug 10, 2016

At first this book's thesis seems pretty basic, but then you realize how many instances and professions may not utilize checklists, and then you are profoundly shocked!
I can't recall where I first picked up the habit of making checklists: school, the military, but most definitely in my youth somewhere.
Dr. Gawande has written a most important book for the present!

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empbee
Jun 23, 2016

Well written; interesting examples of disasters that could have been or were avoided by using a checklist. The book makes you aware of the benefit of having a checklist for other everyday life events.

I really enjoyed this book. The storytelling is great, and Dr. Gawande has thought deeply about his topic. I wasn't sure what one could possibly say about checklists when I picked this book up, but he's done his research and has given us a very carefully crafted book. My work has nothing to do with medicine but Dr. Gawande has me rethinking just what my responsibilities are and how best to manage them.

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writermala
Apr 19, 2015

This compelling book written by a successful surgeon argues the case of using a humble checklist in major medical surgery as Airline Pilots do in flying. Checklists, suggests (and proves) Dr. Gawande, can save lives. It's as as simple as that. The writer shows us in detail how a simple checklist can minimize mistakes that lead to horrendous problems and even fatalities.

This manifesto is electrifying and I for one loved it.

1
1aa
Jan 19, 2015

A clearly and informally written book... I felt it got bogged down by all of the anecdotes, but on the other hand its the anecdotes that made it interesting to read. What is lacking is instructions on how to write one's own checklists (it gives a pew pointers, but that's all).

JCS3F Feb 09, 2014

A thoughtful reminder that the simplest solutions are often the most effective. Gawande highlights a myriad of complicated endeavors made manageable through the use of checklists. From ambitious construction projects that incorporate the efforts of an army of subcontractors, to procedures that limit hospital infections, to the reminders that co-pilots read prior to takeoff, checklists are a simple means of ensuring performance in complicated, potentially high stress environments. Moreover, Gawande's examples have real implications for the rest of us. If checklists are an effective tool for a heart surgeon, they must be useful in more quotidian circumstances, too. Both personal and professional.

JCLLeslieN Dec 24, 2013

If you are not a list maker then you should read this book. Great stories that illustrate their value - for example, those big skyscrapers would not be possible without them.

abettig Feb 24, 2011

Excellent book! Helped me understand what can make a checklist effective or useless.

gwsuperfan Sep 24, 2010

Discusses the value of checklists in maintaining quality and safety in a number of fields, including aviation, construction and medicine. Borrows heavily from the story of Dr. Provonost at Johns Hopkins (Provonost's book is "Safe patients, Smarter hospitals"), but it lacks the same compelling narrative aspect.

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