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Description of the institution

University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU), The Netherlands
University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU), The Netherlands
Postal address: P.O. Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht
E-mail: l.pijnenborg@umcutrecht.nl
Tel: +31 88 7553622

Partner information

The University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) is composed of the Academical Hospital Utrecht, the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital and the Medical Faculty of Utrecht University. The UMC Utrecht has a leadership position in many medical fields, by combining patient care with education and research. To maintain this leadership position, UMC Utrecht strives to conduct research at frontiers of knowledge manifested around seven programs: neurosciences, cardiovascular sciences, immunology and infectious diseases, oncology, biomedical genetics, biomedical image sciences and clinical epidemiology. At UMC Utrecht, one of our major goals is to translate results from our laboratory research into new diagnostic tools and new therapies for disease. Scientists who pursue basic research questions closely collaborate with clinicians involved in patient care, allowing us to remain at the forefront of new developments and to provide better care for our patients.

Besides patient care and research, the UMC Utrecht also focuses on education. It offers the whole spectrum of medical education, from medical school to medical specialist. It also offers post graduate education and training for registered nurses, for example to become Physician Assistant.

In 2004, the Board of UMC Utrecht chose Patient Safety as a main strategic theme, being the first hospital in the Netherlands to do so. In 2007 the Board of Directors set up a dedicated Patient Safety Center and appointed Prof.dr. C.J.Kalkman as Director. Paul Barach was recruited from the United States as a visiting professor. The mission of the Safety Center is to improve patient outcomes by increasing safety through teaching and research.

Since then it has implemented several training programs to increase patient safety (Root Cause Analysis, Health Care Failure Mode and Effect Analysis), set up a simulation training facility, and set up patient safety research programmes. Recently three government research grants were awarded to the Center. The grants include:


  1. assessing the impact in 4 national hospitals on handovers in critically ill patients (sponsored by the Netherlands Organisation for Research, ZonMW (PI, Kalkman),
  2. the HARM study (PI,  Anne Leendertse), and
  3. SPIEGEL study assessing primary care incident reports (led by Dorien Zwart). By 2009, more than 50% of Dutch hospitals had sent personnel to UMC Utrecht to receive training in Root Cause Analysis, led by Ian Leistikow.


Research team and qualifications


P. Barach MD, MPH

is an internationally known patient safety researcher and was recruited as the Patient Safety Professor and co-director of the Center for Patient Safety at UMCU.  He is a board-certified Anesthesiologist, with fellowship training in Cardiac Anesthesia, Critical Care medicine and human factors, at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he trained and practiced. He set up the Centre for Safety at the University of Chicago, and founded the Centre for Patient Safety and Simulation at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he was Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Patient Safety. He chaired the Jackson Memorial Hospital Patient Safety Committee and was the Medical Director for Quality for 3 years. He helped write the legislation and co-founded the Florida Patient Safety Corporation.


Dr. Loes Pijnenborg MD, PhD

is the Project Manager of the European FP7 HANDOVER project. She combines this work with advising the Executive Board of Directors of the University Medical Center Utrecht on Quality and Safety. From 2005-2008 she was Programme Director of Better Faster, a nationwide program to improve Patient Safety and Logistics in 20% of hospitals (n=24) in the Netherlands. Before that she worked for seven years as a general practitioner in Amsterdam and Utrecht. She was editor of a book titled Working on Quality in General Practice (in Dutch), the first book in the Netherlands on quality indicators for general practice. In 1995 she finished her PhD on End-of-life decisions in Dutch medical practice, the first nationwide quantitative study on euthanasia an other end-of-life decisions. Several articles were published in medical journals as The Lancet, BMJ and JAMA.
Loes Pijnenborg, MD PhD

Staff Member Executive Board of Directors UMC Utrecht

Project Manager European HANDOVER project


Dr. Jerry Andriessen

Jerry Andriessen is a psychologist, specialised in collaborative learning and use of technology in Education. In that area, he is a well-known and productive writer. He is very experienced in participating and coordinating research projects for the European union.


Project Manage


Prof Dr C.J. Kalkman MD, PhD

is Professor of Anesthesiology research and head of Center for Patient Safety of the UMC Utrecht.


Julie K. Johnson MSPH, PHD

is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Deputy Director of the Centre for Clinical Governance Research at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia. Dr. Johnson uses qualitative research methods – including focus groups, interviews, and observational studies – to better understand processes of care and the effect of the care process on clinical teams, teamwork, and patients and families. Dr. Johnson has used qualitative methods to study errors in ambulatory pediatric settings, to conduct observations in pediatric cardiac surgery, to observe how clinical teams function on inpatient medicine rounds, and to improve handovers of patient care.


Petra Gademan

Petra Gademan was born and raised in the neighbourhood of Utrecht, in the centre of the Netherlands. After high school, she studied Psychology at Utrecht University and graduated in Biological Psychology in 1996. Doing research within the Schizophrenia Project of the University Medical Center Utrecht, in the last year of her study, she became very interested in medical science. She started her medical studies in 1998 at the VU University Amsterdam and graduated in 2004. After working as a resident at an internal/oncology ward, she was professionally trained as a general practitioner from 2005 to 2008. Since 2008 she is working as a general practitioner. She combines her GP activities with research as a PhD-student at the HANDOVER project, a very fruitful combination. She is affiliated at the Patient Safety Center of the University Medical Center Utrecht.

Prof dr K.G.M. Moons, PhD

is professor of Clinical Epidemiology. His expertise covers both intervention and implementation research.

Dr E.L.J. van Rensen, MPH, PhD

is senior researcher and coördinator of the research in the Center for Patient Safety of the UMC Utrecht. She has broad experience in patient-oriented research.

Drs D.L.M. Zwart, MD

is general practitionar and researcher. She is PI of the SPIEGEL study, which is a study assessing and evaluating incidents reports in primary care

Drs A.J. Leendertse

is a clinical pharmacist and researcher. She is PI of the HARM study, which is a study assessing medication errors.