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4.5 out of 5 stars208
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 23 February 2013
I am a believer in checklists aand procedures. This book brought a very scientific view, showing how things can be massively improved by having a standard and sticking got it. Inspires you when you read it. Lacked a few diagrams to help show the picture.
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on 9 January 2016
I picked up this book as I work with checklists. I think it's the same for most of us but of course not all checklists are created equally. The book runs through how the need for checklists came about and a thought process on how to create. The examples in surgeries, airlines, investments are fascinating especially how the airline landing in Hudson River was benefitted by a checklist. Definitely a worthy and interesting read. One thing needed is maybe to visually insert the checklists referred. These are typed but maybe an appendix containing the actual versions would be beneficial.
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on 13 October 2014
Great book that really focuses on real world examples of where checklists can and do save lives. The book is biased to the usage and advantages of checklists in the medical profession, understandably given the author's expertise.

This should not put the reader off at all though. Doctors and operating rooms may be an extreme example where checklists can directly save lives, but the lesson reads across well to many other areas of life. People have a finite cognitive capacity and we are not computers. Given the same task over and over again we will not complete it in the same predictable way each time like a computer would, we will make some mistakes.

We humans are, however, fabulous at working off script, bringing lots of different experience to bear and coping when things don't go the way that we expected.

So what is the lesson; checklists don't demean us, they don't mean that we are lacking intelligence. What they do is to free our minds, catch us when we are at our weakest - under pressure trying to perform a set of tasks for the thousandth time, and they let us concentrate on the truly complex tasks.
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on 9 June 2015
A really fascinating and riveting read! I read it in a single sitting and thought it was a most compelling and convincing narrative on how checklists can be applied to a number of everyday scenarios. I'll be reading more of his books for certain.
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on 10 August 2014
I'd heard about this book for a long time before I read a copy. I should have believed the rave reviews I 'd heard and read it sooner! Very thought provoking and new ideas implemented within 2 days of reading it. A great book.
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on 24 April 2016
This book starts with some stories and you then expect examples of checklists but the stories just keep coming. Boring and repetitive - would only work for medics and aviators who might (only might) be interested in the long-winded style. Not for managers looking for checklist ideas.
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VINE VOICEon 17 June 2010
This book puts forward a very compelling case for the use of simple check lists to assist in healthcare. These check lists should not be the controlling factor but should act as an aid to helping improve the levels of care given. This is an idea which has been received quite well in the healthcare profession in the U.K. With checklists for bothe Pre and post operative procedures being part of Lord Darzi's recommendations.

I first came across this book after Atul Gawande appeared on the Daily Show with John Stewart, and the common sense arguments that he put forward for the use of checklists were very compelling. Their use in scenarios such as Pre-flight have been invaluable and saved counless lives, and not by being monotonous list that dumb down procedures but provide an aide memoir to a skilled individual which helps ensure no critical element of a procedure is overlooked.
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on 14 October 2013
As an avowed believer in checklists, this book raised my understanding of what the good design of them looks like and the measurable impact that they can have in key situations. It also tackles some of my concerns about them such as the perception that it hinders creativity (it shouldn't), and the dangers of getting the level of detail wrong (OCD tendencies and lack of user involvement can be dangerous here). The importance of testing, review and modification of a new checklist along with tailoring to local situations was also highlighted by comparing common Surgery checklists in "1st" v "3rd" world Operating Theatres.
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on 7 January 2014
Gawande puts an eloquent and engaging argument for checklists; not to be ticked, but to stimulate communication. For example, a surgical team introducing themselves at the start of an operation making them a 'team'. This short book is full of convincing anecdotes from aviation, surgery and finance - Gawande posits convincingly that almost any field can benefit from the application of a carefully considered checklist.
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on 27 April 2016
The book could have been shorter, and perhaps a little better organized. But there is some good material here if you're prepared to dig for it. The author illustrates his points with interesting stories, which make the book very readable.
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