To err is human
Institute of Medicin
The landmark publication from 1999 based describing the risks in hospitals that lead to almost 100.000 avoidable deaths per year. Not because of bad skills but because of faulty working procedures and communication.
Normal Accidents & The Next Catastrophe
This laid an important foundation in thinking about accidents and safety on a large scale. Started with the accident in the “Three miles Island” nuclear reactor in the seventies he describes what is needed to make systems ultra safe.
The Scalpel’s edge: the culture of surgeons
Forgive and Remember: managing medical failure
Charles L. Bosk
Two books written bij anthropologists that were embedded in a surgical department for more than a year. Excellent peek into the life and thinking of the surgical profession.
Human Error & Managing the risks of organizational accidents & The Human contribution
James Reason is the godfather of Human Factors in risk management. One of his big conceptual ideas is the concept of the “swiss cheese” model that shows that accidents never have just one cause. It is the combination of mistakes and misconceptions of all involved that make room for errors. Excellent books on the theorie of risks and how to deal with them.
Complications & Better & The Checklist manifesto
Atul Gawande is a famous surgeon in Boston and professor at Harvard. His books deal with how to make surgery safer and what this means for the manner of working and culture of surgeons. Though not very original in concepts he is a very good writer that makes many ideas accessible for a large audience while maintaing scientific integrity in his statements.
Safe patients, smart hospitals
Peter Pronovost & Eric Vohr
Description of one of the landmark studies and implementations in patient safety. Starting with the story of a small girl that died in John Hopkins hospital due to several avoidable errors leading, amongst others, to sepsis in her central line. Pronovost started a project, based on all scientific evidence, to prevent this from happening again. Part of this was a checklist for the insertion of a central line, part was creating a better working environment but above all discipline with all staff to safe working.
The Wisdom of Crowds
James Michael Surowiecki
The already classic book with many examples where diverse crowds are more capable than individual experts or professionals. Not always thorough in it’s analysis but well written and inspirational.
Seeing this change comming before 2002 is a remarkable feat, the date this book is published. Many of the idea’s are also in the Wisdom of Crowds but it still is a good read. Smart Mobs focuses a bit more on the social aspects and communication.
A strong warning for becomming too enthousiastic about ideas like iCrowds (“the hive mind is for the most part stupid and boring”). Online collectivism can become dangerous because it lacks some of the mechanism our society normally has.
The Long Tail
Because distribution costs are going to zero due to the Internet it is getting easier to access niche content. Amazon now makes more turnover in books that simply are not available in a normal bookstore. In this book Chris Anderson explores the effects this causes for the way we look at business models.