Resilient and safe hospitals: Lessons learnt from Covid-19


Resilient and safe hospitals: Lessons learnt from Covid-19


The aim of the project is to analyze the organizational steps at various levels in two acute healthcare systems (Denmark and Italy) and further analyze the clinical consequences on flow and patient safety. And in continuation hereof transforming the linkage between organizational efforts and clinical outcomes into a new organizational model.


The Covid-19 pandemic has affected healthcare systems and patient safety worldwide; however, with different implications for societies, health, and survival. So far, published research on organizational changes and their possible clinical consequences during Covid-19 is sparse. To be well prepared for a new pandemic or future crises affecting healthcare, it is crucial to evaluate the efforts and learning embedded in handling the pandemic.


We hypothesize that patient safety was significantly affected by the hospitals' and regions’ ability to reorganize resources and decentralize decision-making during the Covid-19 pandemic; hence, a novel source of information on safe and resilient systems.


The project uses a mixed-method and interdisciplinary approach with expertise from health sciences and social sciences. The project focuses on data from the 1. surge of Covid-19 in Denmark and in Italy. 


The Region of Abruzzo in Italy, and the Central Denmark Region (CDR) in Denmark will serve as the basis for the study. Each with a catchment area of approximately 1,3 million inhabitants. Abruzzo covers 10.700 km2, has 17 public hospitals and 315 municipalities, and CDR covers 13.008 km2 and has five acute hospitals and 19 municipalities. Five comparable acute public hospitals from Denmark and six from Abruzzo will be included in the project.


A successful outcome of the overall project is expected to strengthen resilience in health care when facing new crises in the future, regardless of their nature. Transforming the linkage between organizational efforts and clinical outcomes into a new organizational model in acute care can thus be a valuable contribution to pandemic preparedness and response.


Principal Investigator: Marianne Lisby (RECEM).
Investigators (RECEM): Gitte Boier Tygesen, Hans Kirkegaard and Sara Viskum Leth.
Invetigators (ICOA): Børge Obel, Iben Duvald and Cicilie Bundsgaard Lohse.
Italian investigators: Luca Giustiniano, Daniele Marcia, Tiziano Volpentesta, LUISS University Rome, Fausto Di Vincenzo, Università degli Studi "G. d'Annunzio"Chieti – Pescara.


The first part of the project is financed by Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF) with 500.000 DKK.