Raj Ratwani, PhD is the vice president of scientific affairs for the MedStar Health Research Institute. He is responsible for supporting researchers in program development, identifying strategic partners and funding opportunities to foster high-impact research, and supporting an administrative infrastructure that enables rigorous research.
Dr. Ratwani is also the director of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare-- the largest human factors research team embedded in a healthcare system. As a center director, he is responsible for overall strategy development and execution, and he oversees research, advisory services, and education efforts.
Dr. Ratwani’s research focuses on patient safety, digital health, data science, and artificial intelligence. He has received over $20m in federal and industry-applied research and innovation funding, including serving as principal investigator on five R01 awards. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in high-profile journals such as JAMA and Health Affairs. National Public Radio, Fortune Magazine, and Kaiser Health News have all featured his work. He has also focused on improving healthcare policy through testimony to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, service on the 21st Century Cures Act Health Information Technology Advisory Committee, and policy advisement to several healthcare stakeholders, including the Senate and House of Representatives. He earned a Doctorate in Human Factors and Applied Cognition from George Mason University and received the Fleishman dissertation award for outstanding research. He completed a National Research Council post-doctoral fellowship at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.
Dr. Ratwani's research interests include
- Human factors and applied cognition
- Digital health interventions
- Artificial intelligence
Electronic health record usability and safety
With funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Pew Charitable Trusts, Dr. Ratwani has led several studies focused on identifying usability and safety challenges associated with electronic health records (EHRs) and analyzing the effectiveness of federal policies on EHR usability. This work has been published in Health Affairs and JAMA.
Digital Health Utilization
Dr. Ratwani has led research analyzing how patients use different types of digital health (e.g., telehealth, chatbots) and study variability by patient demographics. This work has led to a deeper understanding of engaging different patient populations effectively.
Patient Safety Event Report Analytics
In this work, Dr. Ratwani has developed machine learning models to support more effective analysis of large databases of patient safety event reports. Applying machine learning and natural language processing to thousands of patient safety event reports has supported identifying critical safety signals.