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The checklist manifesto : how to get things right
Gawande, Atul.
Adult Nonfiction RA399.A1 G39 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

That humblest of quality-control devices, the checklist, is the key to taming a high-tech economy, argues this stimulating manifesto. Harvard Medical School prof and New Yorker scribe Gawande (Complications) notes that the high-pressure complexities of modern professional occupations overwhelm even their best-trained practitioners; he argues that a disciplined adherence to essential procedures-by ticking them off a list-can prevent potentially fatal mistakes and corner cutting. He examines checklists in aviation, construction, and investing, but focuses on medicine, where checklists mandating simple measures like hand washing have dramatically reduced hospital-caused infections and other complications. Gawande gets slightly intoxicated over checklists, celebrating their most banal manifestations as promethean breakthroughs ("First there was the recipe, the most basic checklist of all," he intones in a restaurant kitchen). He's at his best delivering his usual rich, insightful reportage on medical practice, where checklists have the subversive effect of puncturing the cult of physician infallibility and fostering communication and teamwork. (After writing a checklist for his specialty, surgery, he is chagrined when it catches his own disastrous lapses.) Gawande gives a vivid, punchy exposition of an intriguing idea: that by-the-book routine trumps individual prowess. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

According to the latest World Health Organization international classification of diseases, some 6000 drugs and 4000 medical and surgical procedures are now available to clinicians to manage more than 13,000 diseases and syndromes. Delivering the benefits of all this specialized training and knowledge correctly, safely, and reliably has not been easy. As in his earlier works Complications and Better [LINKS??], Gawande's recurring themes here are the complexity and the imperfections of modern medicine, as well as the ever-present need to strive to do better. He fixes readers' attention on gripping medical stories while building the case for a manageable, sophisticated and yet simple solution to the human, sometimes life-threatening fallibilities that on occasion bring near disaster or worse to a sugical procedure. His answer to tense medical situations where unpredictability reigns: the checklist. In stories from fields as diverse as medicine, aviation, and construction, Gawande persuasively aruges how a diligently applied, studiously produced checklist strategy saves lives. In the last chapter, he shares how the checklist prevented a loss in one of his own surgeries. Verdict The author's many fans will enjoy revisiting his leitmotiv of improving human endeavor. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/09.]-James Swanton, Harlem Hosp. Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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