The Checklist Manifesto

How to Get Things Right

Gawande, Atul

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Checklist Manifesto
Baker & Taylor
The best-selling author of Complications draws from his surgical experience to explain how simple checklists have prompted striking and immediate improvements in surgical and hospital settings, then goes beyond the field of medicine to explore how checklists have improved everything from homeland security to investment banking. Reprint.

McMillan Palgrave

A New York Times Bestseller

In latest bestseller, Atul Gawande shows what the simple idea of the checklist reveals about the complexity of our lives and how we can deal with it.

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. Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument that we can do better, using the simplest of methods: the checklist. In riveting stories, he reveals what checklists can do, what they can't, and how they could bring about striking improvements in a variety of fields, from medicine and disaster recovery to professions and businesses of all kinds. And the insights are making a difference. Already, a simple surgical checklist from the World Health Organization designed by following the ideas described here has been adopted in more than twenty countries as a standard for care and has been heralded as "the biggest clinical invention in thirty years" (The Independent).

& Taylor

Explains how simple checklists have prompted striking and immediate improvements in surgical and hospital settings, then goes beyond the field of medicine to explore how checklists have improved everything from homeland security to investment banking.

Publisher: New York : Picador, 2011, c2010
Edition: 1st Picador ed
ISBN: 9780312430009
Branch Call Number: 610.289 G
Characteristics: xviii, 215 p. ; 21 cm.


From the critics

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Jan 19, 2015
  • 1aa rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

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).

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.

Dec 24, 2013
  • JCLLeslieN rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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.

Feb 24, 2011
  • abettig rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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

Sep 24, 2010
  • gwsuperfan rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

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.

Aug 23, 2010
  • PLSB rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I read this while on a camping trip - packed by my daughter with no checklist. We arrived without the cooler, among other things. Fascinating reading - especially the emphasis on the ability to free you for more creative uses of your brain.

May 15, 2010
  • JudithE rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a fabulous book. Horrifying but human info re medical errors in surgery and elsewhere, and suggestions re how to save lives. Fascinating examples. And the principles can be applied anywhere. I loved it.


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Gawande, Atul
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