The New York Times best-selling 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 90-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 for anyone working to get things right.
©2009 Atul Gawande; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
His point is important, but there's not enough original information for a book. Too much padding with example stories that don't add new info.
An interesting subject but poorly written and really boring. Takes the entire book to basically say "Doctors should use checklists to limit their mistakes". 8 words.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
“One essential characteristic of modern life is that we all depend on systems—on assemblages of people or technologies or both—and among our most profound difficulties is making them work.”
― Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto
"Checklists seem to provide a protection against such failures. They remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They not only offer the possibility of verification, but also instill a kind of discipline of higher performance."
― Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto
Atul Gawande is a bit intimidating. Anytime you have a guy that does surgery, public health, and has written four bestselling books, it is only fair to acknowledge the guy has both brains and hustle. Unlike Malcolm Gladwell, Gawande has a tremendous talent for distilling scientific and academic ideas into a glossy, easily digestible 8.5" x 6" science-lite book. Gladwell does it with other people's ideas. His books involved several varied stories that come together into a lose federation of themes. Gawande usually starts with the idea: "Hand washing" in Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance) or "Checklists" (The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right) and creates a book around them.
Like Dr. Gawande the person, I find his books to be interesting, compelling, admirable, and straightforward. I admire his work and his vision. His books are almost always solid, just never once yet great. Dr. Gawande is clever. He writes books that are essentially entry-level business/leadership books that are disguised as surveys of medicine. He uses his experiences as a doctor and public health researcher to tackle broader social and cultural issues that intersect with medicine and health. He isn't super subtle, but most of those who are reading Gawande aren't looking for poetry or subtly. They want an idea to click. They want to feel inspired. The want to get better and avoid mistakes. He seems focused on presenting simple processes (soap, checklists) that may help.
This is the type of book that once you hear it, it starts you thinking. Is this a book that you would listen to over and over, I don't believe so but I do think it would be beneficial to listen to again in the future.
Although the story does deal with medical issues, this is the authors background, it also includes the source of checklists - pilots. As with any book there has to be a purpose for you picking the book up and this is to make yourself better. Many reviewers say that the book spends too much time on surgery but the purpose of the book is to illustrate the use of checklists; this and the many other examples should be adapted to your environment.
Great reader. Adds to experience.
There are many "really" moments throughout the book that keep it interesting and relevant.
Highly recommend for anyone who really wants to improve their lives - but it will take commitment and work.
I was able to listen to the book in 3 days walking to and home from work. Essential content is easy to understand and process from audio format and I will build checklists into our practice in NY. Implementing these concepts could improve ED care nationally and are similar to the American Heart Association courses focused on resuscitation and treatment of seriously ill and injured patients. Well done Dr. Gawade.
I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.
There is a lot of interesting information here. The book points out the need for adopting checklists and procedures for avoiding basic errors across many professions and businesses. Very well done. My only reservation is that it is a little repetitive at some points.
As a private pilot, I KNOW the value of a simple check list. Simple tasks such as SECURE AND LATCH PASSENGER DOOR can become lost in the routine and could become a fatal mistake. Defining simple, yet critical tasks and consistently reviewing them removes untold volumes of liability. Thank you Mr. Gawande. I have a checklist, not OCD!
Computer Programmer and Worship Leader. Have enjoyed reading since my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie prior to my teen years. My brother got me hooked on audio books after I started having a longer commute to work. Love a variety of genres.
While there is both some good examples of the need for checklists and the benefits derived, this book could EASILY have been half as long and still been effective. Felt like the author trying to make a short story into a novel.
You'll learn some good things here, but will take more time than necessary to do it.
If I had friends that weren't convinced that checklists were useful, I'd recommend this book. As someone who currently implements checklists, I was hoping to get some insight into how to make mine better. How should I think about organizing my checklists? How should I think about updating them and writing them for other people? The book itself isn't bad, just not what I was looking for.
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