Our Resilience Roundtable 2023 – Leading in Tough Times: Applying Cross-Sector Lessons on Resilience in Health Care was a gathering of great minds to explore the next phase of health care. We may not have all the answers, but we (you included!) are the ones to create those answers. We are merely discovering what health care resilience means for each individual organization and team. Each of us must hypothesize, test, and rework our approaches to continually improve over time.  

While we gather different tactics and identify barriers, we hope that some of these ideas and insights help spark a new way of thinking for you and your team. Let’s do a brief recap of main topic areas that were discussed: 


In our first session, “Setting a Strategy that Promotes Resilience,” Charles Vincent, Jan Hagen, and Peter Angood reflected on: 

  • Necessary versus unnecessary resilience in health care – leaders must be attuned to underlying system and resource changes that should occur, even if team members are exhibiting resilience. We must ask – how can we recognize when resilience is not the solution? 
  • Need for better data – drawing from experiences in the airline industry, we heard a call for better data on both negative and positive patient safety events, as well as the multiple internal and external factors that influence health care.  
  • Transparency and collective improvisation – Leaders should engage their teams in planning how they will collectively improvise in the face of both acute and chronic stressors.


In our second session, Creating a Culture that Enables Resilience,” Amy Edmondson, Tim Vogus, and Sara Singer described: 

  • Psychological safety – the imperative to create an environment in which team members support each other in anticipating and addressing failures. 
  • Creating the right culture…and also fixing broken systems and processes – Simplify and standardize where possible to free up time to focus on improvement efforts.  
  • Who is on “the team”? – Family members are a crucial source of health care resilience and early detection for patient safety. Consider ways to think more broadly about who is “essential” in supporting patient safety.


In our final session of the day, “Operationalizing Systems to Respond to Unexpected Circumstances,” David Gaba, Libby Hoy, and John Chessare explored: 

  • How to narrow the gap from the front office to the frontline – transparency and improved communication can help all stakeholders understand the true nature of the challenges we face. 
  • Fantasy documents – although we spend time and resources developing emergency plans and procedures, we often know they won’t actually work. How can we improve our efforts to prepare for stressors? 


Want the full scoop from this event? Stay tuned for links to the sessions, coming soon!