The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

( 151 )

Overview

The New York Times bestselling 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 ...

See more details below
Paperback (First Edition)
$9.64
BN.com price
(Save 39%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (68) from $3.36   
  • New (9) from $9.42   
  • Used (59) from $3.26   
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

The New York Times bestselling 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 ninety-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 reading for anyone working to get things right.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Sandeep Jauhar
…despite its evangelical tone, The Checklist Manifesto is an essential primer on complexity in medicine.
—The New York Times
Sarah Halzack
Even skeptical readers will find the evidence staggering. Gawande found a host of studies that show dramatic drops in death or infection from a certain procedure once a hospital implemented a checklist for doing it right. Marshaling anecdotes and analysis, he implores the medical community to use checklists more widely…Thoughtfully written and soundly defended, this book calls for medical professionals to improve patient care by adopting a basic, common-sense approach.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
Praise for The Checklist Manifesto

 

"I read The Checklist Manifesto in one sitting yesterday, which is an amazing tribute to the book that Gawande has crafted. Not only is the book loaded with fascinating stories, but it honestly changed the way I think about the world. It is the best book I’ve read in ages."—Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics

 

“Few medical writers working today can transmit the gore-drenched terror of an operation that suddenly goes wrong—a terror that has a special resonance when it is Dr. Gawande himself who makes the initial horrifying mistake. And few can make it as clear as he can what exactly is at stake in the effort to minimize calamities.”—The New York Times

 

"Even skeptical readers will find the evidence staggering. . . . Thoughtfully written and soundly defended, this book calls for medical professionals to improve patient care by adopting a basic, common-sense approach."—The Washington Post

 

"A persuasive champion of his cause."—The Economist

 

"The Checklist Manifesto is beautifully written, engaging, and convincingly makes the case for adopting checklists in medicine, a project to which Gawande has devoted significant time over the last several years. . . . It is in many ways the most personal of his books, a direct call to action to change the way health care is delivered through straightforward and simple, yet proven, means. It is a call that deserves to be heard and heeded."—Journal of the American Medical Association

 

"Gawande deftly weaves in examples of checklist successes in diverse fields like aviation and skyscraper construction. . . . Fascinating reading."—New York Times Book Review

 

"This is a brilliant book about an idea so simple it sounds dumb until you hear the case for it. Atul Gawande presents an argument so strong that I challenge anyone to go away from this book unconvinced."—The Seattle Times

 

“Fascinating . . . presents a convincing case that adopting more checklists will surely help.”—Bloomberg News

 

"Gawande argues convincingly and eloquently."—San Francisco Chronicle

 

"The scope goes well beyond medicine. . . Read this book and you might find yourself making checklists for the most mundane tasks—and be better off for it."—BusinessWeek

 

“A vivid, punchy exposition of an intriguing idea: that by-the-book routine trumps individual prowess.”—Publishers Weekly

“Maintains the balance between accessibility and precision. He manages to be vivid without being gruesome. . . . —The Guardian (UK)

 

“Riveting and thought-provoking.”—The Times (UK)

 

“Eye-popping. . . Gawande writes with vigor and clarity.”—New Haven Advocate

 

Praise for Better

 

“Gawande manages to capture medicine in all of its complex and chaotic glory, and to put it, still squirming with life, down on the page. With this book, Gawande inspires all of us, doctor or not, to be better.”

The New York Times Book Review

 

“Gawande is unassuming in every way, and yet his prose is infused with steadfast determination and hope. If society is the patient here, I can’t think of a better guy to have our back.”

The Boston Globe

 

Praise for Complications

 

“Remarkable . . . Brings to modern high-tech medicine the same clinical watchfulness that writers such as Williams and Sacks have brought to bear on the lives and emotions of often fragile patients.”

—Sherwin B. Nuland, The New York Review of Books

 

“Gawande is a writer with a scalpel pen and an X-ray eye. Diagnosis: riveting.”

Time

 

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312430009
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 29,495
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande is the author of Better and Complications. He is also a MacArthur Fellow, a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He lives with his wife and three children in Newton, Massachusetts.

Good To Know

In his interview with Barnes & Noble.com, Gawande described a shining memory: "I believe that one version of the good in life can be defined by the moments I sometimes had playing tennis as a sixteen-year-old," He recalled. "You’d be out on the court and for an hour, two hours, sometimes an entire roasting hot day, and every single thing you hit would go in. Hit that ball as hard as you wanted, wherever you wanted, and it went in. It was effortless power, achieved out of practice. But my game’s gone to hell. And I have not had a moment like that since high school."

A serious surgeon and writer by day, Gawande has been known to rock out. He told Barnes & Noble.com, "I have always believed that there is nothing greater than a life in rock n' roll -- it has to be good rock n' roll -- and I still think it is true."

Gawande claims not to have any one source of inspiration for his writing. I don’t write out of inspiration," he told us. "I write because it’s my way of finding cool ideas, thinking through hard problems and things I don’t understand, and getting better at something. I was never born to write. I was taught to write. And I am still being taught to write."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Newton, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 5, 1965
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A.S., Stanford University, 1987; M.A., Oxford University, 1989; M.D., Harvard Medical School, 1995

Read an Excerpt

The Checklist Manifesto

How to Get Things Right
By Gawande, Atul

Metropolitan Books

Copyright © 2009 Gawande, Atul
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780805091748

1. THE PROBLEM OF EXTREME COMPLEXITY

Some time ago I read a case report in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. It was, in the dry prose of a medical journal article, the story of a nightmare. In a small Austrian town in the Alps, a mother and father had been out on a walk in the woods with their three- year-old daughter. The parents lost sight of the girl for a moment and that was all it took. She fell into an icy fishpond. The parents frantically jumped in after her. But she was lost beneath the surface for thirty minutes before they finally found her on the pond bottom. They pulled her to the surface and got her to the shore. Following instructions from an emergency response team reached on their cell phone, they began cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Rescue personnel arrived eight minutes later and took the first recordings of the girl’s condition. She was unresponsive. She had no blood pressure or pulse or sign of breathing. Her body temperature was just 66 degrees. Her pupils were dilated and unreactive to light, indicating cessation of brain function. She was gone.

But the emergency technicians continued CPR anyway. A helicopter took her to the nearest hospital, where she was wheeled directly into an operating room, a member of the emergency crewstraddling her on the gurney, pumping her chest. A surgical team got her onto a heart- lung bypass machine as rapidly as it could. The surgeon had to cut down through the skin of the child’s right groin and sew one of the desk- size machine’s silicone rubber tubes into her femoral artery to take the blood out of her, then another into her femoral vein to send the blood back. A perfusionist turned the pump on, and as he adjusted the oxygen and temperature and flow through the system, the clear tubing turned maroon with her blood. Only then did they stop the girl’s chest compressions.

Between the transport time and the time it took to plug the machine into her, she had been lifeless for an hour and a half. By the two- hour mark, however, her body temperature had risen almost ten degrees, and her heart began to beat. It was her first organ to come back.

After six hours, the girl’s core reached 98.6 degrees, normal body temperature. The team tried to shift her from the bypass machine to a mechanical ventilator, but the pond water and debris had damaged her lungs too severely for the oxygen pumped in through the breathing tube to reach her blood. So they switched her instead to an artificial- lung system known as ECMO— extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. To do this, the surgeons had to open her chest down the middle with a power saw and sew the lines to and from the portable ECMO unit directly into her aorta and her beating heart.

The ECMO machine now took over. The surgeons removed the heart- lung bypass machine tubing. They repaired the vessels and closed her groin incision. The surgical team moved the girl into intensive care, with her chest still open and covered with sterile plastic foil. Through the day and night, the intensive care unit team worked on suctioning the water and debris from her lungs with a fiberoptic bronchoscope. By the next day, her lungs had recovered sufficiently for the team to switch her from ECMO to a mechanical ventilator, which required taking her back to the operating room to unplug the tubing, repair the holes, and close her chest.

Over the next two days, all the girl’s organs recovered— her liver, her kidneys, her intestines, everything except her brain. A CT scan showed global brain swelling, which is a sign of diffuse damage, but no actual dead zones. So the team escalated the care one step further. It drilled a hole into the girl’s skull, threaded a probe into the brain to monitor the pressure, and kept that pressure tightly controlled through constant adjustments in her fluids and medications. For more than a week, she lay comatose. Then, slowly, she came back to life.

First, her pupils started to react to light. Next, she began to breathe on her own. And, one day, she simply awoke. Two weeks after her accident, she went home. Her right leg and left arm were partially paralyzed. Her speech was thick and slurry. But she underwent extensive outpatient therapy. By age five, she had recovered her faculties completely. Physical and neurological examinations were normal. She was like any little girl again.

What makes this recovery astounding isn’t just the idea that someone could be brought back after two hours in a state that would once have been considered death. It’s also the idea that a group of people in a random hospital could manage to pull off something so enormously complicated. Rescuing a drowning victim is nothing like it looks on television shows, where a few chest compressions and some mouth- to- mouth resuscitation always seem to bring someone with waterlogged lungs and a stilled heart coughing and sputtering back to life. To save this one child, scores of people had to carry out thousands of steps correctly: placing the heart- pump tubing into her without letting in air bubbles; maintaining the sterility of her lines, her open chest, the exposed fluid in her brain; keeping a temperamental battery of machines up and running. The degree of difficulty in any one of these steps is substantial. Then you must add the difficulties of orchestrating them in the right sequence, with nothing dropped, leaving some room for improvisation, but not too much.

For every drowned and pulseless child rescued, there are scores more who don’t make it— and not just because their bodies are too far gone. Machines break down; a team can’t get moving fast enough; someone fails to wash his hands and an infection takes hold. Such cases don’t get written up in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, but they are the norm, though people may not realize it.

I think we have been fooled about what we can expect from medicine—fooled, one could say, by penicillin. Alexander Fleming’s 1928 discovery held out a beguiling vision of health care and how it would treat illness or injury in the future: a simple pill or injection would be capable of curing not just one condition but perhaps many. Penicillin, after all, seemed to be effective against an astonishing variety of previously untreatable infectious diseases. So why not a similar cure- all for the different kinds of cancer? And why not something equally simple to melt away skin burns or to reverse cardiovascular disease and strokes?

Medicine didn’t turn out this way, though. After a century of incredible discovery, most diseases have proved to be far more particular and difficult to treat. This is true even for the infections doctors once treated with penicillin: not all bacterial strains were susceptible and those that were soon developed resistance. Infections today require highly individualized treatment, sometimes with multiple therapies, based on a given strain’s pattern of anti biotic susceptibility, the condition of the patient, and which organ systems are affected. The model of medicine in the modern age seems less and less like penicillin and more and more like what was required for the girl who nearly drowned. Medicine has become the art of managing extreme complexity— and a test of whether such complexity can, in fact, be humanly mastered.

The ninth edition of the World Health Organization’s international classification of diseases has grown to distinguish more than thirteen thousand different diseases, syndromes, and types of injury— more than thirteen thousand different ways, in other words, that the body can fail. And, for nearly all of them, science has given us things we can do to help. If we cannot cure the disease, then we can usually reduce the harm and misery it causes. But for each condition

Continues...


Excerpted from The Checklist Manifesto by Gawande, Atul Copyright © 2009 by Gawande, Atul. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Problem of Extreme Complexity 15

2 The Checklist 32

3 The End of the Master Builder 48

4 The Idea 72

5 The First Try 86

6 The Checklist Factory 114

7 The Test 136

8 The Hero in the Age of Checklists 158

9 The Save 187

Appendix: Example Checklists 195

Notes on Sources 201

Acknowledgments 211

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 151 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(62)

4 Star

(47)

3 Star

(27)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 155 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Critical

    Like his colleague at the New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell, Gawande has the ability to write about material that could easily be boring (in the hands of a less gifted author) in a way that is clear, engaging, and thought-provoking, without ever being condescending. This serves him well in this book, whose general topic is that most professions (his is medicine) have been overwhelmed by complexity. We have trouble getting things right, because the volume of knowledge we've created has overwhelmed our ability as individuals to follow through.

    Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is another book that has been really helpful in my work of late. It has a wonderful process for increasing your EQ, and improving communication between coworkers.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Add this to the Checklist

    This is a "easy read" book (good writing, not very technical) that I found enjoyable and interesting.
    As a "manifesto," it lays out the arguments for using checklists. The author does provide some interesting history about the development of checklists (esp. aircraft flight checklists).
    So: checklists can be a benefit. However, the author doesn't really provide the next step. There is a science to the development and implementation of checklists. It would have been nice to have a clearer sense of how to proceed (dare I say a checklist?) and a list of resources (the chapters do have good endnotes but that's not the same).

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    A must reading for business owners or professional managers

    Anyone owning a business or all professional managers will benefit from reading Atul's book, as it may cause you, and your people, to think about how to improve the management of your business. His ideas are applicable to any industry or profession.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    eminently readable for anyone in a large organization.

    This book is a must for physicians of all levels from medical students to those in practice and even those ready to retire. I sent it to my uncle an engineer who was very fascinated. It is organized.The examples are stories in and of themselves. I Will reread this book my times and give it as gifts to all my friends and colleagues in the medical profession

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Dr. Gawande hits it out of the ballpark, Great Read

    Interesting, very well written, compelling fast read. Highly recommended to anyone in health care and anyone using health care. Should be required reading. Checklist Manifesto is one of the most import books written for health care in recent years. Its value may seem subtle in that it defends and shows the process for implementing a simple surgery checklist, but saving lives and catching medical errors with a checklist makes it profound.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Excellent!

    My EP recommended this book during a discussiin we had about my two recent hospitalizations. Knowing that he read it, and was, hopefully, using checklists in his surgical procedures has motivated me to devise my own checklist of questions for my doctors to use for future procedures and assessing potential physicians and surgeons. Number one will be "do you use surgical checklists?" If not, I will probably find another doctor. It's that big of a deal.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Any task improved

    A self-help book, quite literally. Author shows how to make a job easier(in most cases), and more mistake-free by breaking it down into smaller pieces and checklisting those pieces. Perform those steps one by one on the list.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Boring

    Read it as its a requireement for medical reading competition, but found it rather dull. Cheeecklists are useful, yes, but do they really deserve 20 chapters devoted to them?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    I enjoyed it!

    I really liked it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2011

    Awesome book

    This book was buetifully written and now I can stop thinking about checklist. The author brings something as simple as a checklist to life with amazing examples of intense situations, showing how displine can calm some of the most dire situations and prevent error in one way processes. I'm not just an engineering nerd this book was sick

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

    Dr. Gawande has written three excellent books. This most recent one can save many, many lives and reduce complications and errors with medical procedures. Its implications extend to other fields as well. It is a wonderful book, clear and compelling...except perhaps for the most blockheaded.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Reduce Risk, Control What You Can

    Some people may not be enamored with the stories and examples but the author's message is on point. We need to continually utilize checklists and whatever means are available to reduce risk in an increasingly complex world. It's in everyone's best interest to calculate risk, reduce it when possible and execute with precision. A surgeon is as good a person to tell that story as anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 3, 2014

    Useful

    I highly recommend this book for anyone trying to establish good habits.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Iceescales's animals

    Queen ArcticFlower-wolf.
    <p>
    Queen SnowyStar-seal
    <p>
    Pets.
    <p>
    Noblesky-hamster.
    <p>
    Seacat-hamster.
    <p>
    Grumpymonkey-hamster.
    <p>
    Non-member

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Same schtick, different title

    Yes, this book is well written, but enough already. Gawande isn't doing most of this stuff himself - he is telling stories of others and sometimes he comes off as quite pompous. Many other fields in medicine have been using checklists to promote patient safety since the 1970s. Somehow Gawande passes this idea off as his own and it isn't.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    Definitely worth reading

    The route to excellence can sometimes be available to all...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 155 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)