Aaron (Zach) Hettinger, MD, is the inaugural chief research information officer (CRIO) for the MedStar Health Research Institute. In this capacity, he serves as director for the Center of Biostatistics, Informatics and Data Science (CBIDS) and director of Cognitive Informatics, both under MedStar's National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. This is the largest hospital-based human factors engineering program in the United States. In addition, Dr. Hettinger is an emergency medicine physician at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine.
As CRIO, Dr. Hettinger works as a translator between the clinical, research, and informatics teams to efficiently and accurately obtain and analyze data from the electronic health record and other health information technology systems. Furthermore, he seeks to leverage innovative methods like data science and human factors engineering to work with clinical team to design and study algorithms and clinical support tools that can improve clinical care.
In his role as director of the Center for Biostatistics, Informatics and Data Science (CBIDS), Dr. Hettinger oversees a multidisciplinary team of biostatisticians, informaticists, data scientists, and application developers. The CBIDS team provides core services to both internal MedStar Health investigators, as well as external collaborators with funding from diverse federal agencies and industry partners.
As part of the MedStar Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, Dr. Hettinger has experience serving as a project manager and principal investigator, conducting literature reviews, interviewing stakeholders, conducting human factors event analyses, designing and testing tools, and analyzing data. Through collaboration with multiple partners, he participates in multiple healthcare projects, including those involving the study of electronic health records usability, data visualization, adverse event detection, and patient safety. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
He received his medical degree from the University of Rochester. In addition, Dr. Hettinger completed a research fellowship at the University of Rochester's Division of Prehospital Medicine, and he holds a master's degree in Clinical Investigation.
Dr. Hettinger's research interests include
Clinical Informatics & Data Science
Human Factors Engineering
Health Information Technology Surveillance
Cognitive Engineering for Complex Decision-Making and Problem-Solving in Acute Care
Cognitive systems engineering methods can be used to design Emergency Department information systems. The goal is to provide a fundamental and comprehensive picture of the difficult sensemaking, decision-making, and planning/re-planning tasks in the Emergency Department, along with the individual and team expertise required to meet those challenges. Read more about this research.