A Simple Checklist Can Reduce Death by 47%

Start listening

In The Checklist Manifesto, Dr. Atul Gawande tells us:

“‘You’ve got to see this,’ Alex said. He laid a sheet of statistical printouts in front of me and walked me through the tables. The final results showed that the rate of major complications for surgical patients in all eight hospitals fell by 36 percent after introduction of the checklist. Deaths fell by 47 percent. The results had far outstripped what we’d dared to hope for, and all were statistically highly significant. Infections fell by almost half. The number of patients having to return to the operating room after their original operations because of bleeding or other technical problems fell by one-fourth. Overall, in this group of nearly 4,000 patients, 435 would have been expected to develop serious complications based on our earlier observational data. But instead, just 277 did. Using the checklist had spared more than 150 people from harm—and 27 of them from death.

That is crazy. A simple checklist can reduce mortality by 47% and complications by 36%.

We all need a Masterpiece Day checklist to reduce the mortality of our masterpiece days. As John Wooden tells us: “Make each day your masterpiece.”

Join the discussion