Safety and reliability

The current Hot Topic is Safety and Reliability. This topic provides resources to complement an upcoming Centre for Health Care Management seminar titled “”Organizing for safety and reliability” with Dr. Marlys Christianson. To learn more about the seminar or to register visit the information page.

The READ Portal has posted several papers on topics in Safety. Additionally, the following resources were selected by Dr. Christianson and the CHCM Librarian as introductory readings to the topic. While some of these resources require subscription, many are open access. If you don’t have access to an academic library, please contact your institution’s library or email for more information.

  • Christianson, M. K., Sutcliffe, K. M., Miller, M. A., & Iwashnya, T. J. (2011). Becoming a high reliability organization. Critical Care, 15 (314). Retrieved from
  • Blatt, R., Christianson, M. K., Sutcliffe, K. M., & Rosenthal, M. M. (2006). A sensemaking lens on reliability. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27: 897-917. Retrieved from
  • Roberts, K.H., Madsen, P., Desai, V., & Van Stralen. D. (2005). A case of the birth and death of a high reliability healthcare organisation. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 14: 216-220. Retrieved from
  • Vogus, T.J., & Sutcliffe, K.M. (2007). The Safety Organizing Scale: Development and validation of a behavioral measure of safety culture in hospital nursing units. Medical Care, 45: 46-54. Available from Wolters Kluwer.
  • Weick, K.E., & Sutcliffe, K.M. (2007). Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty (2nd ed). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Weick, K.E., Sutcliffe, K.M., & Obstfeld, D. (1999). “Organizing for high reliability: Processes of collective mindfulness.” Research in Organizational Behavior. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
  • AHRQ. (2008). Becoming a High Reliability Organization: Operational Advice for Hospital Leaders. Publication No. 08-0022. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Rockville, MD. Available from
  • Vincent, C., Benn, J., & Hanna, G.B. (2010). High reliability in health care. British Medical Journal. Retrieved from
  • Sanchez, J.A., & Barach, P.R. (2011). High reliability organizations and surgical microsystems: re-engineering surgical care. The Surgical Clinics of North America, 92 (1). Retrieved from

Post Comment


a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

READ Portal
University of British Columbia
2053 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Canada

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC  | © Copyright The University of British Columbia