Rollin J. (Terry) Fairbanks, MD, MS
Terry Fairbanks is the Center Director, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo. He is a practicing emergency physician at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and is a human factors engineering/system safety engineering researcher and patient safety innovator in many healthcare domains. Dr. Fairbanks also serves as the Acting Director of MedStar Health’s Simulation and Training Environment Lab (SiTEL).
Dr. Fairbanks holds an advanced degree in industrial systems engineering/ human factors engineering and uses this background to apply system safety engineering approaches to medical systems. He has received funding for patient safety-related research from the NIH, AHRQ, and several foundations including the Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Foundation (EMPSF) and American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM). He is currently funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and BioEngineering (NIBIB), AHRQ, and ASHRM.
Dr. Fairbanks is a 2008 graduate of the HRET/NPSF Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship, and serves on national patient safety committees and advisory groups, including the Human Factors Engineering Committee of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), the group that has developed the Human Factors standards for medical devices (such as HE 74 and HE 75). In addition to his clinical work in emergency medicine, Dr. Fairbanks also has a background as a paramedic, EMS Medical Director, and EMS patient safety expert. His research and consulting work has focused on a vast array of medical domains, including ICU, OR, ED, EMS, inpatient, outpatient, pharmacy, and other clinical environments.
A frequent speaker at national and international meetings, Dr. Fairbanks is known for inspiring people to think differently about patient safety. Dr. Fairbanks’ work has been published in 70 journal articles, book chapters, and proceedings papers that have appeared in the human factors engineering and medical literature.
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Vicki Lewis is the Center’s Associate Director. She is a seasoned center leader and program manager with 20 years experience conducting research and consulting in human-factors engineering, usability, human systems integration, safety, training, and user interface design.
Dr. Lewis came to MedStar Health from Virginia Tech, where she applied her knowledge of human factors engineering to healthcare and transportation. As a Research Scientist in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Dr. Lewis investigated human factors issues in the healthcare domain. As Director of the Center for Vehicle-Infrastructure Safety at Virginia Tech, Dr. Lewis conducted a program applying the HSI philosophy to issues of driver fatigue, driver distraction, and the evaluation of in-vehicle information and warning systems. While at Virginia Tech, Dr. Lewis was awarded over $18 million as PI and $5.5 million as Co-PI in research sponsorship from federal, state, and industrial sponsors. She has developed training systems for the Federal Aviation Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and designed documents and computer interfaces for various applications and organizations.
Dr. Lewis received her Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering/Human Factors Engineering from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Psychology from the University of Idaho. She has authored more than 100 scientific articles, technical reports, and book chapters, in addition to two published transportation-related safety standards.
Andy Schaudt is the Usability Division Chief for the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. He has significant management experience in usability, safety, human-computer interaction, and human-factors engineering, having been a principal investigator (PI), co-PI, and/or project manager on more than $5.95 million of contracted research. For the Center, he plans, coordinates, and manages the projects, programs, and daily operations for the Usability Division, which is chartered to conduct medical device and health IT usability evaluations, both for the industry and for MedStar Health.
Prior to working with MedStar Health, Mr. Schaudt was a Senior Research Associate with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute where he focused on the design, development, and human factors evaluation of numerous safety technologies for a wide range of vehicles. In this role, he collaborated on innovative systems to prevent accidents between light vehicles and heavy trucks. He also provided novel, interdisciplinary research for numerous committees, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Transportation Research Board, and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). He received the SAE’s Presentation Excellence Awards in November of 2006 and 2007, and in 2008 he won the SAE Arch T. Colwell Merit Award.
Schaudt earned his M.B.A. in Business Administration from Virginia Tech, and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Psychology from the University of Idaho. Mr. Schaudt has numerous professional presentations, and has written or co-authored more than 45 scientific publications and technical reports.
A. Zach Hettinger, MD, MS
Director of Informatics Research
Medical Student Research Coordinator
Zach Hettinger is a core Faculty Member and Director of Informatics Research. He is currently PI for the Systems Engineering Approach to Root Cause Analysis Project, funded by ASHRM and is also collaborating on several of the Center’s research projects. He also serves as the MI2 liaison to the Human Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland, a collaboration that focuses on data visualization and the improvement of access to healthcare information. Dr. Hettinger completed a research fellowship at the University of Rochester’s Division of Prehospital Medicine, and holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Investigation. Prior to his medical training Dr.Hettinger had experience as a web programmer, database manager and network administrator. He has an expertise in health IT, and has focused his IT research in data visualization, human-computer interaction, Health IT Safety and received biomedical informatics training certification in 2010. Dr. Hettinger is a board certified emergency physician, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and a practicing emergency physician at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.
Raj Ratwani, PhD
As the Center’s Scientific Director, Dr. Ratwani has extensive experience planning, managing, and executing large-scale research programs that leverage human factors and cognitive science theories to address complex applied problems. Specific areas of expertise include attention, memory, perception, human-computer interaction, and statistical modeling. Dr. Ratwani is working to improve usability and reduce error in health information technology, is studying task interruption and resumption in numerous clinical settings, and is examining how emergency physicians and radiologists interpret diagnostic images.
Dr. Ratwani holds a B.S in cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego where Dr. Edwin Hutchins was his undergraduate advisor. Dr. Ratwani earned a M.A. and PhD in psychology, focusing on human factors/applied cognition, from George Mason University and was awarded the Fleishman dissertation award. He was a National Research Council post-doctoral fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory where he developed eye movement based algorithms to predict and prevent errors in real-time. Dr. Ratwani has held scientific positions in both the public/private sector, primarily to service the Department of Defense. He has published over twenty-five peer reviewed publications in nationally recognized journals and has given numerous presentations to human factors and healthcare audiences.
Sarah Henrickson Parker, PhD
Director of Education and Academic Affairs
Human Factors Research Scientist
Sarah Henrickson Parker is the Director of Education and Academic Affairs. Her research focuses on human factors and applied psychology, with an emphasis on understanding team performance in high risk healthcare settings. Dr. Parker is currently an AHRQ postdoctoral fellow, researching team coordination during trauma resuscitations. Dr Parker completed her PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, with Dr. Steven Yule and Professor Rhona Flin. She earned a Master’s degree in Human Factors and Applied Cognition from George Mason University, followed by two years working as a human factors expert and researcher at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Parker’s work has been published in 50 journal articles, book chapters and proceedings papers that have appeared in the human factors and medical literature. She has given numerous national and international presentations on human factors in healthcare and patient safety.
Ella Franklin, RN, BSN
Nursing Research Program Director
Ella Franklin is the Center’s Nursing Research Program Director. She provides nursing domain expertise to the Center’s research and consultative projects while expanding our nursing research portfolio. Ella’s research expertise is in the application of design strategies and technologies to automate patient and healthcare worker safety, efficiency and infection prevention.
Ella has 20 years of clinical nursing practice and nursing administration experience in a wide range of specialties including medical/surgical, same-day surgery, post-anesthesia, intensive care, emergency medicine, community health, infection prevention, and occupational health. She holds a clinical research certificate from the NIH National Institute for Nursing Research, and is a graduate of the CDC Fellows Training Course in Hospital Epidemiology. Ella is a frequent national speaker on the impact of facility design on workflow, quality, and safety.
Lindsey Clark, MA
Center IRB Liaison
Lindsey Clark holds a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Rochester. She has prior experience as a Research Assistant at the University of Rochester Medical Center where she worked on Dr. Fairbanks’ team studying adverse events and near misses in the emergency department. During this time she conducted and analyzed numerous interviews with emergency department staff members and facilitated an extensive medical chart review project. In addition to her prior experience as a research assistant, Lindsey spent two years working in television production on a series for the Investigation Discovery Channel.
Allan Fong, MS
Allan Fong is a Human Factors Research Specialist at MedStar National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. His research focuses on developing, integrating, and applying advance technologies and techniques to study and improve healthcare systems. Allan has a background in engineering and human factors and is particularly interested in information visualization to promote health literacy and patient safety. Allan received a Masters of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.
Angie Hernandez, MS
Senior Human Factors Specialist
Angie Hernandez is a Senior Human Factors Specialist at the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. Prior to joining NCHFH, she had experience implementing Human Factors on military projects. Ms. Hernandez has applied her leadership and management skills to prominent Navy and US Marine Corps acquisitions, research and development, and process standard working groups. She has implemented human factors design principles in all product phases from conception to fielding. Ms. Hernandez has extensive experience in Human Systems Integration methods such as user feedback and requirements analysis, heuristic evaluation, and usability testing for hardware and software design solutions. Ms. Hernandez received a Masters of Science in Human Factors and Systems and a Bachelor of Science in Human Factors Psychology from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 2005. She currently serves as the National Capitol area Embry-Riddle Alumni chapter president.
Natalie Abts, MS
Human Factors Specialist
Natalie Abts holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering with a focus on Human Factors and Ergonomics from the University of Wisconsin. While pursuing her degree, she conducted research involving the redesign of primary care for the aging population, mentored by Dr. Ben-Tzion Karsh. While a graduate student, Ms. Abts also held a position at the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, where she taught process improvement techniques and implemented quality improvement projects in the ambulatory care setting. Ms. Abts has a background unique to the industrial engineering field, earning a Bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Wisconsin in 2006. Her current work with the Center involves planning and executing usability tests for medical devices and other medical products.
Natalie (Nat) Benda
Natalie Benda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. While at Purdue, she was an undergraduate researcher for the GROUPER (Group Performance Environments Research) lab, led by human factors professor Dr. Barrett Caldwell. Nat performed research in the healthcare field that focused on medication adherence in chronic disease patients. As a part of her capstone design experience, she worked on a project that analyzed the effect of a hospital’s weight loss program on patient outcomes. Nat spent a semester studying industrial engineering at the University of Carlos III in Madrid, Spain and has previous work experience with Alcoa in the U.S. and Germany.
Margaret Meadors, MS
Margaret Meadors is research assistant at our center. She is also an Applied Experimental Psychology PhD student and teaching fellow at Catholic University. Margaret holds a Master of Science in Education in Mental Health Counseling from Old Dominion University. Margaret has been involved in clinical and behavioral research for the past 8 years, and her current research interests include the role of planning and prioritization in complex work environments.
Medical Student Researcher
Neil Batta is a medical student at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Neil holds a B. S. in Biology from Saint Bonaventure University. While in his undergraduate years, Neil’s research focus was neurobiology and progenitor cell study. Since he has transitioned to human factors in healthcare after his first year of medical school. Neil is currently interested in human behavior and the impact it has on medicine and how it is practiced. Neil is currently investigating medical team workflow in the hospital setting.
Theresa Guarrera, MS
Graduate Research Assistant
Theresa Guarrera is a Human Factors Engineering Ph.D. student in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at the University at Buffalo, where she also earned a Master of Science degree. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester. Prior to entering graduate school, Theresa was the project director for a usability study of a patient tracking system in an emergency department, funded by the Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Foundation. As a graduate student, Theresa has been involved with a series of Human Factors Engineering studies that have focused on the implementation of Health Information Technology systems in the healthcare domain. These studies, funded by the NIH, AHRQ, and by the New York State Department of Health (via HITEC), have applied methods in simulation, usability, cognitive systems engineering, and proactive risk assessment to Health IT safety.
Sudeep Hegde, MS
Graduate Research Assistant
Sudeep Hegde is a Human Factors Engineering Ph.D. student in the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo, where he also earned a Masters degree in 2010. Sudeep earned a bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering and Management in India, where he subsequently worked for a non-profit organization in Nashik, India, helping set up a citywide free-of-cost medical emergency service system comprising a network of hospitals and ambulances. Sudeep’s recent research has included studying the impact of health information technology, particularly Electronic Health Records (EHRs), on workflows and information flows of healthcare staff, as well as usability testing of a patient-physician communication interface. These studies funded by the New York state Department of Health (via HITEC) have employed human factors techniques such as workflow analysis, qualitative analysis, simulation and user-needs analysis. Sudeep is currently part of our ASHRM-funded project team studying the effectiveness and sustainability of Root-Cause Analysis (RCA) solutions.
Medical Student Researcher
Kayvon Izadpanah holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech and is currently a second year medical student at Georgetown University School of Medicine. At Georgetown SOM, Kayvon is on the Health Justice Scholars track and serves as one of seven coordinators for the HOYA Clinic–Georgetown’s free student-run clinic. As the Frank S. Pellegrini Summer Scholar, under the direction of his mentor Dr. Sarah Parker he will be helping to analyze trauma team communication dynamics in the ER at Washington Hospital Center.
Sadaf Kazi, MA
Graduate Student Researcher
Sadaf Kazi is a doctoral student in the Engineering Psychology program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research at Georgia Tech focuses on cognitive factors such as prospective memory and interruptions and their influence on performance and strategy use in environments such as air traffic control and critical care nursing. Sadaf holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Mumbai and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from SNDT Women’s University, which is also in Mumbai, India. While in India, Sadaf gained experience in conducting neuropsychological evaluation of dementia and epilepsy. In the U.S., she transitioned into studying cognitive factors that influence people’s interaction with complex technologies.
Robin Littlejohn is a Human Factors Engineering Ph.D. student in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Mississippi State University. Robin earned both her Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. Currently, Robin also works as a research consultant for a medical device consulting company. As a graduate student, Robin has been involved with sponsored Human Factors Research focusing on injury risk assessment and mitigation, motion capture and imaging technology applications in injury assessment and prevention, medical device usability, and human factors education. Robin’s current research addresses the efficacy of thermal imaging in assessment of rehabilitation from shoulder injuries and correlations with existing measures of rehabilitation.
Ethan Larsen is a Management Systems Masters student in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. Ethan earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008. Currently his research interests include healthcare improvement through application of Human Factors based process improvement tools. This summer, Ethan is working with the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare to conduct research for his thesis.
Nicolette McGeorge is a Human Factors Engineering Ph.D student in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at the University at Buffalo. Nicolette also holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology. Nicolette has past experience working as a Manufacturing Engineer, supporting the production of tactical communication technology for the military. Past research includes studying the ergonomics of the upper extremities during the use of various handheld products, such as pipettes and handheld scanners. More recent research has focused on studying health IT using Industrial Engineering and Cognitive Engineering methods such as workflow analysis, simulation, content analysis and cognitive work analysis. Funded by the New York State Department of Health (via HITEC), Nicolette aided in assessing the effect of electronic health record implementation on workflow in ambulatory care. Currently, Nicolette is working on a project funded by AHRQ to design and test prototype ED information systems that are based on in-depth understanding of the tasks and activities of caregivers and staff within the ED.
Medical Student Researcher
Imran Siddiqui is a medical student at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Mr. Siddiqui is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he earned his SB degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Biology. Prior to attending medical school, Mr. Siddiqui worked as a biomedical engineer for Johnson and Johnson orthopedics – DePuy Synthes. During his experience he worked closely with orthopedic surgeons to design and develop orthopedic systems to improve patient care. Mr. Siddiqui holds a number of US patents and a Professional Mechanical Engineers License. Mr. Siddiqui is currently conducting research with the Human Factors Engineering Team, examining trauma teams dynamics.
Graduate Student Researcher
At George Mason University Kevin studies the use of real-time eye tracking on error prediction under Greg Trafton at U.S Naval Research Labs. Eye tracking is a method of getting at the time and type of errors people will make during certain tasks. This research is looking at finding ways to reduce these errors through the design of intelligent systems towards health IT. His interest in health IT also brought him to Children’s National Medical Center. At CNMC, Kevin is one of the voices for human factors in their Patient Safety department.
Kevin received his Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in 2011. His history in research began at TCNJ using brainwaves to investigate recognition memory with Andrew Leynes. Before starting at GMU, Kevin spent a year at Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science under Zenon Pyslyhyn studying the application of multiple object tracking.