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The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things…
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The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

by Atul Gawande

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,3201034,221 (3.97)89
Reveals the surprising power of the ordinary checklist now being used in medicine, aviation, the armed services, homeland security, investment banking, skyscraper construction, and businesses of all kinds.

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» See also 89 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
One of the best books I've read this year. It had me in tears in a couple of spots, which is hard to explain given it's essentially an argument for creating checklists for complicated tasks. But Gawande's description of surgery and what his team discovered are so moving; you immediately see how this technique is applicable to so many circumstances, and he makes the real human costs and benefits of getting this right crystal clear. This is neither a "big business idea" book, nor a "harrowing medical stories" book, but a hybrid better than both. ( )
  adzebill | Sep 8, 2019 |
Just as the title suggests, this is a manifesto (Wiktionary: "A public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions, especially that of a political party.") about checklists.

Before I delve deeper in all the goodness of this book, let me tell you what it is not. It's not a particular and precisely-defined recipe for checklists, it's not a specific method for organizing your work or schedule, and it's not a revolutionary way of thinking (at least, not in the way most people imagine). ( )
  andycyca | Aug 6, 2019 |
NOT too many books change my daily habits. This one has. (Check!)
It's a great read, too, without a single change happening! ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
A somewhat short but terrific book about the usefulness of checklists in pretty much every occupation. My husband really liked the stories about the construction of large buildings and I preferred the great aviation stories. The ones about surgeries were a triffle scary though. Recommended.
  hailelib | May 3, 2019 |
A fascinating nonfiction look at how essential check lists are in surgery and for pilots. I thought it was going to focus more on using check lists in every day life, so while it was interesting, I didn’t love it. Side note, the number of errors (often fatal) in surgery is terrifying! ( )
  bookworm12 | Dec 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
I already know that "The Checklist Manifesto" will be on my list of best books this year. Gawande writes with gusto, humor and clarity. He features his mistakes -- always a good sign in a reporter -- including the one that ends the book.
 
Read this book and you might find yourself making checklists for the most mundane tasks—and be better off for it.
 
But that narrative gift doesn't transfer automatically to accounts of in-flight safety checks and structural engineering near-misses. Gawande's style is always clear, with the crispy lilt that is a trademark of the New Yorker, where he is also a staff writer. But there's no escaping the fact that this is a book about, well, checklists. Hemingway would struggle to make it gripping. Gawande does well to pull off engaging.
added by stephmo | editThe Observer, Rafael Behr (Jan 24, 2010)
 
Gawande, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and a staff writer at The New Yorker, makes the case that checklists can help us manage the extreme complexity of the modern world. In medicine, he writes, the problem is “making sure we apply the knowledge we have consistently and correctly.” Failure, he argues, results not so much from ignorance (not knowing enough about what works) as from ineptitude (not properly applying what we know works).
 
Dr. Gawande is right to note that checklists are indispensable in situations where a small mistake can lead to tragic consequences, as in surgery. But his call for a broad checklist regime would be counterproductive—fraught with all the dangers of bureaucracy and excessive law.
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atul Gawandeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fyfe, LisaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levavi, Meryl SussmanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lloyd, John BedfordReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schloss, RoslynCopy editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I was chatting with a medical school friend of mine who is now a general surgeon in San Francisco.
Some time ago I read a case report in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
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Faulty memory and distraction are a particular danger in what engineers call all-or-none processes: whether running to the store to buy ingredients for a cake, preparing an airplane for takeoff, or evaluating a sick person in the hospital, if you miss just one key thing, you might as well not have made the effort at all.
...the real lesson is that under conditions of true complexity—where knowledge required exceeds that of any individual and unpredictably reigns—efforts to dictate every step from the center will fail. People need room to act and adapt. Yet they cannot succeed as isolated individuals, either—that is anarchy. Instead, they require a seemingly contradictory mix of freedom and expectation—expectation to coordinate, for example, and also to measure progress toward common goals.
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The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry--in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people--consistently, correctly, safely. We train longer, specialize more, use ever advancing technologies, and still we fail.
Now, acclaimed writer and surgeon Atul Gawande makes a compelling arguement that we can do better and finds a solution in the most humble of places: the lowly checklist. He explains how checklists have made possible some of the most difficult things people do--from flying airplanes to building skyscrapers of mind-boggling sophistication. And drawing on his own experience, he shows how applying this idea to the immensely various and complex world of surgery produced a ninety-second checklist that reduced deaths and complications by more than one-third in eight hospitals around the world--at virtually no cost and for almost any kind of operation.
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, and to the flight deck of a crashing plane. Along the way, he reveals what checklists can do, what they can't, and how they could bring about striking improvements in fields well beyond medicine, from homeland security to investment banking to professions and businesses of all kinds.
The Checklist Manifesto is a gripping exploration of the nature of complexity in our lives and essential reading for anyone working to get things right.
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