I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading the Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, a truly remarkable figure in public health and surgery. His brave and candid appraisal of the state of healthcare with a particular emphasis on surgery was simultaneously refreshing and terrifying.
His confessions about the enormous challenges associated with delivery of care, complexity of knowledge and heterogeneity of patients as well as uncooperative health professional attitudes conjures a healthcare system prone to error and adverse patient outcome. Nevertheless, Dr Gawande courageously confronts this engrossing problem through an amazingly simple solution…The Checklist.
His implementation of surgical checklists in diverse hospital settings and localities has demonstrated the simplicity, elegance and cost-effectiveness of this tool. His checklist has resulted in significant improvements in health outcomes with results published in premiere journals including the New England Journal of Medicine. More importantly the tool has saved countless lives, which is ultimately its greatest achievement. It is evidence-based practice at the apogee of medical care.
Here is also a TED Talk about some of the points raised: