, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 155-162
Date: 12 Dec 2006

Collaborative cross-checking to enhance resilience

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Abstract

Resilience, the ability to adapt or absorb disturbance, disruption, and change, may be increased by team processes in a complex, socio-technical system. In particular, collaborative cross-checking is a strategy where at least two individuals or groups with different perspectives examine the others’ assumptions and/or actions to assess validity or accuracy. With this strategy, erroneous assessments or actions can be detected quickly enough to mitigate or eliminate negative consequences. In this paper, we seek to add to the understanding of the elements that are needed in effective cross-checking and the limitations of the strategy. We define collaborative cross-checking, describe in detail three healthcare incidents where collaborative cross-checks played a key role, and discuss the implications of emerging patterns.