• Sky room, Campus Kollege, 14th floor, Campusvej 1, 5230 Odense M
  • 20/04/2018 -
  • 12:00 - 15:00
  • Registration

Frontiers in patient safety – Erik Hollnagel & Kathleen M. Sutcliffe

Resilience and mindful organizing and what that means for patient safety in Denmark – A seminar on state of the art approaches to patient safety, jointly organized by Institute for Regional Health Research, Hospital of Southern Jutland and Centre for Quality.

12.00 Coffee & sandwich

12.20 Rikke Leth-Larsen, PhD, Head of Institute for Regional Health Research
“Welcome and introduction to the seminar”

12.25 Christian von Plessen, Director & research lead, Centre for Quality, Region of Southern Denmark
“Patient safety in Denmark – do we need new approaches”

12.35 Erik Hollnagel, PhD, Senior Professor of Patient Safety, University of Jönköping
”When Safety is not Safety: A Resilient Health Care Perspective”
It is generally taken for granted that accidents represent a lack of safety. But the converse is not true, i.e., a lack of accidents does not represent safety. The talk will explain why this is so and outline the practical consequences of that.

13.20 Break

13.40 Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, Professor of Business and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
“Organizing for Resilience”
Using ‘failures to rescue’ in surgery as a convenient starting point, in this presentation we explore the usefulness of mindful organizing as a means to anticipate and rebound in the face of surprise and complications. Mindful organizing, also known as high reliability organizing, with its emphasis on improving system awareness and alertness, as well as capacities to act, is an important means of rescuing and resilience. We consider how mindful organizing is enabled and enacted in practice and provide some evidence of its salutary effects.

14.30 Bjarne Dahler-Eriksen, medical director Hospital of Southern Jutland
“What does what we heard today mean for our efforts to make health care safer?”

15.00 Goodbye

Erik Hollnagel, PhD, Senior Professor of Patient Safety, University of Jönköping

Erik Hollnagel, M.Sc. in psychology from the University of Copenhagen, and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Aarhus (Denmark).
He is presently Senior Professor of Patient Safety at the University of Jönköping and Adjunct Professor at Central Queensland University, Visiting Professorial Fellow, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University (Australia), Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Technische Universität München, and Professor Emeritus at the Department of Computer and Information Science at Linköping University.
Prior to that he was Professor at the University of Southern Denmark and Chief Consultant at the Centre for Quality, Region of Southern Denmark.
He publishes and teaches on patient safety and organizational resilience.

Link to Erik Hollnagel’s website


Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, Professor of Business and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, PhD (University of Texas, Austin) is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Business and Medicine at Johns Hopkins University.
Her research is on how organizations and their members cope with uncertainty and unexpected surprises, and how organizations can be designed to be more reliable and resilient.
She is currently investigating these issues in healthcare as well as in wild-land firefighting, oil and gas exploration, and other dynamic high-risk industries.


  • Past Chairman of the Academy of Management Division of Managerial and Organizational Cognition.
  • Editorial boards, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Organization Studies
  • Appointment by National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine to study workforce resilience in the Department of Homeland Security. The research was published in 2013 in a book titled: A Ready and Resilient Workforce for the Department of Homeland Security: Protecting America’s Front Line (Washington, DC: The National Academies Press).

Link to Kathleen Sutcliffe’s homepage

Link to a recent article by Professor Sutcliffe in Harvard Business review

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