Kristen E. Miller

Kristen E. Miller, DrPH, CPPS, is a senior research scientist, MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2), National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. In this role, she applies systems theory and human factors engineering to clinical research to support the delivery of high quality care. Her work incorporates both industrial engineering and cognitive psychology components and takes into account the entire system, from cultural components to characteristics of individual patients.

Dr. Miller excels in bridging the gap between research and operations, using human factors engineering to identify barriers to compliance with evidence-based guidelines, improve compliance to guidelines, and design interventions to improve patient safety. She has dedicated her career to creating safe, effective healthcare through pragmatic research. Her research has focused on medical decision making and behavior and on assessment of medical interventions and practices, with an emphasis on health information technology, usability, human error and patient safety, and evaluation through simulation.

Dr. Miller is experienced in a wide range of analytical techniques, including usability testing, simulation, and assessment of health information technology interventions and practices. She is skilled in the integration of technological innovations, such as continuous monitoring and connected systems, and she has expertise in risk perception and information processing from the point of view of both patients and providers.

Her service in the wider community includes work as a technical expert for patient safety/health information technology for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and as a senior key advisor for the Dental Patient Safety Foundation. She reviews human factors engineering grants for the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Miller is a peer reviewer for Simulation in Healthcare and the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Her work has been published in JAMA Surgery, the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, and the Journal of Nursing Care Quality, among others. She is member of the American Association of University Women, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Society for Clinical Research Sites, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. She frequently presents her research at professional meetings ranging from medical grand rounds to international conferences.

Her teaching experience includes serving as an adjunct faculty in the Department of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Michigan, and as an invited faculty for an international summer school on mobile healthcare sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery and held in Dublin, Ireland, and Stockholm, Sweden.

Dr. Miller earned a DrPH in Epidemiology and Environmental Health, with specialized training in Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics, at Texas A&M University. She then completed a fellowship in Advanced Patient Safety at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Patient Safety. Most recently, she earned the Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) credential from the National Patient Safety Foundation.

Research Interests

Dr. Miller’s research interests include the following:

  • Clinical decision making
  • Human information processing and attention
  • Biomedical informatics
  • User-centered design
  • Clinical support tools for treatment of sepsis
  • Virtual medical team training
  • Human factors engineering and patient safety

Selected Research

Signaling Sepsis:  Developing a Framework to Optimize Alert Design

As principal investigator on this project, Dr. Miller is developing and testing enhanced visual display models, which will integrate patient data into validated sepsis staging scores. This research will provide evidence-based principles and design recommendations to support the development of a clinical decision tool for treatment of sepsis. This research is being sponsored by an RO1 grant from the National Library of Medicine.

Early Prediction Support for Sepsis

As a co-investigator on this multi-institutional project, Dr. Miller is using data mining, machine learning, predictive analytics and optimization algorithms to identify undiagnosed patients at risk of or currently developing sepsis; patients with diagnosed sepsis; and patient outcomes and personalized therapeutic interventions. This research is being sponsored by National Science Foundation’s Smart and Connected Health program.

Characters Allowing Rehearsal and Assessment of Communication in Team Emergency Response (CHARACTER) Efforts

Although current programs for medical team training increase patient safety and improve treatment outcomes, the time commitment required by these training programs has limited their use. As a co-principal investigator on this study, Dr. Miller is developing requirements for a serious game to improve medical team skills and reduce medical errors in high-intensity trauma treatment. This research is being sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense.

View Dr. Miller’s publications.

  • Research Areas
  • Health Services/Quality/Outcomes