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on 26 June 2016
As the title suggests, The Checklist Manifesto outlines the benefits of using checklists in various situations from the perspective of Atul Gawande, a leading surgeon. Atul sets out to find a solution for the problem of complexity in medicine by objectively researching different contexts, from project managing extremely complex building developments to piloting planes. A large emphasis is placed on situations such as disasters, where time is of the essence and there is a limited time to react to the situation at hand, much like would be found in the operating theatre, where the basis of the book originates.

I enjoyed the methodical approach of following Atul on his journey, trying to get to the crux of checklists, how (or if!) they are beneficial to situations and how a balance can be struck between having sufficient information to be useful whilst not overbearing the user to the point where the list becomes disregarded. He uses examples such as investment fund managers, third world disease prevention schemes, professional kitchens, and of course hospitals whilst using various statistics to bring the narrative to life.

A number of real world disasters are cited which keep the book gripping and interesting, and help to outline the reality the checklists aren’t to make the user into a methodical robot, but how it helps to strike a balance between communication, delegation and preparation. The bottom line of the theme is that the effects of using checklists are subtle taken on an individual situation basis, but in unlikely circumstances or taking the statistical data over a large number of samples, a clear picture gets painted. Checklists, particularly in the context of surgery or plane mishaps, are fundamental to team cohesion and just by taking the simple of step of introducing names before surgery or a flight can have a profound effect on achieving desirable outcomes.

I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it, it does provoke thought into how checklists could be used in other situations and the problem of the human ego that leads dismissal of procedures that can have profound beneficial effects.
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on 2 February 2018
This is more than a book, it is a groundbreaking transformation. Having worked in the wider healthcare sector for over 30 years (not a clinician), you understand the levels of authority, the egos, and intransigence of senior medical consultants, especially in relation to their juniors and nurses. The challenge has been, to inculcate something so obvious and relatively easy to implement, causes concerns that much of hard-earned experience and intellect can be reduced to checklists. Surely we need as many fail-safes as possible when peoples lives are at risk.

Atul Gawande has presented compelling evidence that checklists can have a dramatic impact on quality of care and healthcare outcomes. He has shown that this is repeatable around the world and not just in the poorer regions. If an aircraft pilot fails, he goes down with the plane. If the same consequence was applied to the failure of a medical consultant - we'd have checklists in every hospital tomorrow!
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on 30 April 2017
After reading Black Box Thinking by Mathew Syed I was interested to read more on the subject of improvement through making errors and the contrast between the aviation and medical industries approach to errors. This is a super read, well written and very informative. Thank goodness for checklists! I was also fascinated by the soap story and wondered if there is a charity providing this still? Thank you Atul Gawande for your dedication and hard work. I look forward to reading more of your books.
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on 20 February 2017
A thoroughly convincing tale of Gawande's intensive introduction to the world of professional checklists, and his first attempt at implementing one on behalf of the World Health Organisation. I enjoyed reading this book and I am now completely convinced that I need to implement some checklists in my life. The unfortunate part of the book is there are no proper examples nor how-to guides.
I heard about this book from the Tim Ferriss podcast, where I'd also listened to another guest, Jocko Willink, and have taken away his mantra: Discipline Equals Freedom. Checklists as it would turn out, are a very practical and effective way to implement that discipline.
Thus, it is safe to say: CHECKLISTS EQUAL FREEDOM.
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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 22 February 2017
This book was mentioned in a blog post i was reading and i ordered based on that. This was not the semi-academic reference on how to write perfect checklists i was expecting but that turned out to be a really good thing. It still contains plenty of detail about what makes a good checklist but that comes across from the author's personal experience in his background research and then implementation of a health care checklist. After reading i felt that i'd read a very enjoyable book that had also given me a good insight into the value and limitations of checklists rather than the other way round.
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2015
A very enjoyable and fast-paced read, covering stories from medicine, construction, finance, and aviation on how checklists have improved results. The author is a gifted story-teller, and the book provides a great deal of motivation, reasoning and proof for why checklists should be introduced. It also investigates the psychological component of why people are resistant to checklists, which is essential for anyone trying to implement them in a business.

This isn't a how-to guide on how to construct checklists, although it does contain some practical advice on this subject, especially in chapter 6, The Checklist Factory, where the author visited the Boeing aircraft factory.

An eye-opening book that should truly motivate and inspire you.
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on 8 March 2018
Checklists are very useful when well written and correctly used. This book provides very useful insights into good practice and the history that defined good practice. The author examines the benefits of this simple technique across a wide variety of professions but recognised how poor our adoption is of such a simple enabling process.
A book I wouldn’t have thought to read had a learned friend not been enthusing about it so vociferously.
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on 30 July 2014
A short and snappy business case for how simple tool - making checklists - can drive out errors and improve systems in complex decision-making environments.

Starting and ending with examples from healthcare - a personality-driven business notoriously slow to adopt new methods - Gawande contrasts his own business with a field similar in complexity but with a totally different approach to getting things done: aviation. All pilots, everywhere, rely on checklists as a basic tool of their trade no matter how experienced they are - in fact, the more experienced the pilot, the more they tend to rely on checklists. In example after example, Gawande demonstrates just how much a checklist approach can bring to the business of saving lives.

An excellent book and a Big Idea. Worth a read no matter what your field is.
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on 4 May 2016
A must read for all. You don't need to be a doctor to read this, as the lessons imparted in this book can be used in almost any industry, if you want to ensure safety standards and for all forms of risk assessment. More-so for doctors to be. This book could set a precedent for all audit standards to try implementing checklists in wards. So many consultants had advised me to read this book, and I'm glad I finally did. Makes me really appreciate the checklists that are covered in patient care, and how so many other aspects should have one in the NHS!
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