Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith, PhD, is research director, Quality and Safety, MedStar Health Research Institute. Previously she was faculty, Master of Science in Patient Safety Leadership; director, Office of Continuing Medical Education; and research assistant professor, Medicine and Medical Education, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago.

Dr. Smith enjoys mentoring young investigators and is excited about working on a world-class safety/quality research arm for MedStar Health. Her work and training at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada), has given her a strong background in research methodologies. She is passionate about patient safety and quality healthcare, and she has experience as the senior research fellow and founding member for the Institute for Patient Safety Excellence. Her experience also includes directing, teaching and mentoring students in a patient safety leadership Master of Science program. Her accomplishments include being named one of the top ten doctoral students in Canada and winning the Margaret McWilliams Predoctoral Fellowship, an honor awarded to the top female doctoral student in Canada. During her career, she has mentored more than 30 students in patient safety research.

Dr. Smith serves as a reviewer for the British Medical Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine and Heart. She also has served as a peer reviewer for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and the American Heart Association. She has published more than 25 articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as Simulation in Healthcare, Heart and the Journal of Quality and Safety in Health Care. She frequently presents her research at professional meetings, speaking on topics ranging from "Resident Comfort and Skills in Telehealth Communication" to "Changes in Quality of Life and Social Support After Cardiac Rehabilitation." She is certified in Online Instruction by the University of Illinois.

She holds memberships in several professional associations, including the Alliance on Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the American Heart Association, the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation and the Institutes for Healthcare Improvement. She is a member of the State of Illinois Health Information Exchange Task Force on Telehealth and the University of Illinois Vice Chancellor's Committee for Biomedical and Health Informatics Research.

She received an MSc in Physiology and a PhD in Medical Sciences (Physiology and Pharmacology) from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Research Interests

Dr. Kelly Smith's research interests include

  • Patient safety
  • Telehealth communications
  • Quality improvement
  • Quality of life
  • Medical education
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Behavior cardiology

Selected Research

The Seven Pillars: crossing the patient safety-medical liability chasm

Dr. Smith is a co-investigator on this study, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Disclosure following patient safety incidents is an ethical requirement. In this study, Dr. Smith and colleagues implemented and evaluated a process for responding to unanticipated patient outcomes in ten community hospitals. This process, known as the "Seven Pillars," provides a framework for early communication with patients and families after an unanticipated outcome that may lead to disclosure, apology and remedy if the investigation reveals that the care was inappropriate.

Hospital versus home-based exercise training after coronary artery bypass graft surgery

In this 6-year follow up study published in Heart (2011;97:1169-1174), Dr. Smith and colleagues compared the long-term effectiveness of hospital versus telephone-monitored home-based exercise during cardiac rehabilitation. Exercise training initiated at home for low-risk patients after coronary artery bypass graft surgery was found to have a greater effect on peak oxygen uptake and physical activity levels than hospital-based exercise training.

Selected Publications

Yudkowsky R, Luciano C, Banerjee P, Schwartz A, Alaraj A, Lemole M, Charbel F, Smith KM, Rizzi S, Byrne R, Bendok B, Frimm D. Practice on an augmented reality/haptic simulator and library of virtual brains improves residents' ability to perform a ventriculostomy. Simulation in Healthcare 2012 [Epub ahead of print].

Smith KM, McKelvie RS, Thorpe KE, Arthur HM. Six-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial examining hospital versus home-based exercise training after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Heart (British Cardiac Society) 2011;97:1169-1174.

Gunderson AJ, Tekian A, Smith KM. Patient safety education in medical education. Medical Science Educator2011;21:141.

Gunderson AJ, Anderson-Shaw LK, Smith KM. Professional responsibility in medical practice: Online course pilot study. Medical Science Educator 2010;19:69.

McDonald TB, Helmchen L, Smith KM, Centomani N, Gunderson A, Mayer D, Chamberlin WH. Responding to patient safety incidents: the "seven pillars." Quality and Safety in Health Care 2010;19:e11. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Gallagher TB, Bell S, Smith KM, Mello M, McDonald TB. Disclosing harmful medical errors to patients: tackling three tough cases. Chest 2009;136:897-903.

Gunderson A, Smith KM, Mayer D, Centomani N, McDonald T. Teaching medical students the art of medical error full disclosure: evaluation of a new curriculum. Teaching and Learning in Medicine 2009;21:229-232.

Arthur HM, Smith KM, Natarajan M. Quality of life at referral predicts outcome of elective coronary artery angiogram. International Journal of Cardiology 2008;126:32-36.

Gunn E, Smith KM, McKelvie RS, Arthur HM. Exercise and the heart failure patient: aerobic vs strength training--is there a need for both? Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing 2006;21:146-150.

Smith KM, Harkness K, Arthur HM. Predicting cardiac rehabilitation enrollment: the role of automatic physician referral. European Journal of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Prevention 2006;13:60-66.

Lamy A, Farrokhayar F, Kent R, Wang X, Smith KM, Mullen J, Carrier M, Cheung A, Baillot R (for the Registry Investigators). Canadian off-pump CABG registry: a prospective comparison of outcomes with on-pump CABG at one-year. Canadian Journal of Cardiology 2005;21:1175-1181.

Harkness K, Smith KM, Taraba L, Mackenzie CL, Gunn E, Arthur HM. The effect of a pre-appointment nurse-initiated telephone contact on patient attendance to cardiac rehabilitation intake. Heart & Lung 2005;34:179-186.

Smith KM, Arthur HM, Kodis J, McKelvie RS. Differences in sustainability of exercise and health-related quality of life outcomes following home or hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation 2004;11:313-319.

Noora J, Lamy A, Smith KM, Kent R, Batt D, Fedoryshyn J, Wang X. The effect of oxygenator membranes on blood: a comparison of two oxygenators in open-heart surgery. Perfusion 2003;18:313-320.

Harkness K, Morrow L, Smith KM, Kiczula M, Arthur HM. The effect of early education on patient anxiety while awaiting elective cardiac catheterization. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 2003;2:113-121.

Smith KM, Winegard KA, Hicks AL, McCartney N. Longitudinal resistance training in the elderly: effects of 3-years of detraining on the retention of strength. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology 2003;28:462-474.

Lamy A, Wang X, Kent R, Smith KM, Gafni A. Economic evaluation of the MEDENOX trial: a Canadian perspective. Medical Patients with Enoxaparin. Can Respir J. 2002;9:169-77.

Smith KM, Lamy A, Arthur HM, Gafni A, Kent R. Outcomes and costs of coronary artery bypass grafting: comparison between octogenarians and septuagenarians at a tertiary care centre. CMAJ 2001;165:759-764.

  • Research Areas
  • Health Services/Quality/Outcomes