Richard I. Cook

 Richard I. Cook - 

Richard I. Cook  1953-2022

Dr. Richard Cook was a physician, educator, scholar, and researcher. He was a brilliant thinker and writer. Richard has excelled in multiple careers, but our community recognizes him mainly for his key role in the start and expansion of the patient safety movement. Here are some resources that should serve those that want to know more about patient safety and what we can do to improve it. Brought to you by Dr. Cook. 

A celebration of the work of Richard Cook, MD - 

A panel discussion at the International Symposium of Human Factors and Ergonomics in Healthcare, Orlando, March 2023 

Lectures and seminars

Working at the Center of the Cyclone - Dr. Richard Cook

Velocity 2012: Richard Cook, "How Complex Systems Fail"

Velocity NY 2013: Richard Cook, "Resilience In Complex Adaptive Systems"

The Bone Talk: Resilience and resilience engineering


Richard's CV lists 41 peer reviewed publications, 39 conference proceedings, 6 technical reports, 30 books/book chapters that were cited about 10,000 times (as of September 2022). Here are some of his seminal work:

  1.  Cook, R. I., & Woods, D. D. (1994). Operating at the sharp end: the complexity of human error. In Human error in medicine. CRC Press.
  2. Woods, D. D., Johannesen, L. J., Cook, R. I., & Sarter, N. B. (1994). Behind human error: Cognitive systems, computers and hindsight. Dayton Univ Research Inst (Urdi) OH.
  3. Cook, R. I., & Woods, D. D. (1996). Adapting to new technology in the operating room. Human factors, 38(4), 593-613.
  4. Cook, R. I. (1998). How complex systems fail. Cognitive Technologies Laboratory, University of Chicago. Chicago IL, 64-118.
  5. Cook, R. I., Woods, D. D., & Miller, C. (1998). A tale of two stories: contrasting views of patient safety. The Foundation.
  6. Cook, R. I., Render, M., & Woods, D. D. (2000). Gaps in the continuity of care and progress on patient safety. Bmj, 320(7237), 791-794.
  7. Woods, D. D., & Cook, R. I. (2002). Nine steps to move forward from error. Cognition, Technology & Work, 4(2), 137-144.
  8. Perry, S. J., Wears, R. L., & Cook, R. I. (2005). The role of automation in complex system failures. Journal of Patient Safety, 56-61.
  9. Cook, R., & Rasmussen, J. (2005). “Going solid”: a model of system dynamics and consequences for patient safety. BMJ Quality & Safety, 14(2), 130-134.
  10. Cook, R. I. (2006). Being Bumpable. DD Woods & E. Hollnagel, Joint cognitive systems: Patterns in cognitive systems engineering. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Francis & Taylor.
  11. Dekker, S., Hollnagel, E., Woods, D., & Cook, R. (2008). Resilience Engineering: New directions for measuring and maintaining safety in complex systems. Lund University School of Aviation, 1, 1-6.
  12. Cook, R. I., & Nemeth, C. P. (2010). “Those found responsible have been sacked”: some observations on the usefulness of error. Cognition, Technology & Work, 12(2), 87-93.
  13. Nemeth, C., Wears, R., Woods, D., Hollnagel, E., & Cook, R. (2011). Minding the gaps: creating resilience in health care.
  14. Cook, R. I. (2020). Above the line, below the line. Communications of the ACM, 63(3), 43-46.
Additional published work 


Richard Cook on UChicago Haiti Relief Efforts Pt. 1

Richard Cook on UChicago Haiti Relief Efforts Pt. 2

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