Resilient Healthcare is an emerging theoretical field that has developed with influence from engineering, safety science, psychology, ergonomics, human factors, and aeronautics. Resilient Healthcare research has centred on understanding and improving the quality and safety of healthcare delivery. Theory is increasingly well-developed, but so far has only been applied in limited ways with select settings and activities. In order to improve the quality and safety of healthcare, it is essential to first understand the sources of complexity in clinical work.
This ethnographic study from Sanford et al. of five hospital teams in a large, teaching hospital in central London aims to contribute to this growing evidence base by presenting data on specific challenges faced by healthcare workers and the adaptations they use to overcome them in everyday clinical work. This paper will present a new framework for recognising misalignments between demand and capacity and corresponding mechanisms for adaptation, which can be used to understand work-as-done in complex settings and to manage risk.