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Center for Excellence in High Reliability Organizations & Processes

The Center


Pat Patterson, Ph.D.
Center Director

A High Reliability Organization (HRO) is an organization that functions in a hazardous environment, yet succeeds in keeping their error rate low due to their internal operational practices. The operations are tightly coupled; that is, they allow little slack and incidents can proceed rapidly at the first sign of failure; they have more time-dependent processes; and, delays or storage of incomplete products is not possible. Common examples of HROs include air traffic control systems, nuclear power plants, and aircraft carrier operations. Research exploring high reliability operations in healthcare is also a growing field.

The Center of Excellence for High Reliability Organizations and Processes (CEHROP) at Texas Tech University has the mission to establish research expertise in the practical and transformative aspects of HROs and enabling partnering organizations to assess, plan, and successfully transform from their present state to one of greater operational reliability. In addition to research, a primary goal is education, training, and consultation with organizations striving to transform into an HRO. Our objectives are: