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PSNet: Patient Safety Network

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.

Gawande A. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books; 2009. ISBN: 9780805091748.

Harvard surgeon Atul Gawande has emerged as this generation's preeminent physician–author, through his articles in The New Yorker on topics ranging from quality improvement to the costs of health care, and his books, Complications and Better. In his new book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, Dr. Gawande elegantly describes the history of the checklist as a quality and safety tool, in fields ranging from flying airplanes to building skyscrapers. In health care, he focuses on the Michigan Keystone Project, in which the use of checklists led to a remarkable decrease in the rate of central line–associated bloodstream infections, and on his own work with the World Health Organization's Safe Surgery Saves Lives program, where checklist use was associated with a striking decrease in surgical complications. An AHRQ WebM&M interview with Dr. Gawande discusses professionalism, surgical errors, and patient safety. A Patient Safety Primer on checklists is also featured on AHRQ PSNet.