The Checklist Manifesto

I’ve been catching up with Shane Parrish’s Knowledge Project Podcast recently. It’s really good. I was happy to hear his guest for February’s edition, Naval Ravikant, mention The Checklist Manifesto as an example of book with a great idea that should have been just a blog post. Why? Because it already is a blog post. Or, well, a magazine article, at least.

Check out the excellent New Yorker article that pre-dates the book: The Checklist.  I assume it was the base for the book. The gist is that checklists save lives, most dramatically with people like your doctor or nurse, and could have an impact in your own life.

In December, 2006, the Keystone Initiative published its findings in a landmark article in The New England Journal of Medicine. Within the first three months of [rolling out checklists to combat their higher than national average I.C.U. infection rates], the infection rate in Michigan’s I.C.U.s decreased by sixty-six per cent. The typical I.C.U.—including the ones at Sinai-Grace Hospital—cut its quarterly infection rate to zero. Michigan’s infection rates fell so low that its average I.C.U. outperformed ninety per cent of I.C.U.s nationwide. In the Keystone Initiative’s first eighteen months, the hospitals saved an estimated hundred and seventy-five million dollars in costs and more than fifteen hundred lives. The successes have been sustained for almost four years—all because of a stupid little checklist.

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