Kristen E. Miller

Kristen E. Miller, DrPH, CPPS, is the scientific director of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, affiliate faculty at Georgetown Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics, and adjunct faculty at Catholic University Department of Biomedical Engineering. In her role as scientific director, she leads and manages the Center’s scientific research which applies novel approaches to improving patient safety and quality and includes projects that apply systems thinking and human factors engineering to clinical research to support the delivery of high-quality care.

Dr. Miller is a clinically oriented human factors researcher focusing on medical decision making, informatics, and the assessment of medical interventions with an emphasis on health information technology, usability, human error and patient safety. 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 is experienced in a wide range of analytical techniques, including formative and summative evaluations, observational studies, surveys, simulation and decision modeling, and interpretation and application of study results to practice and policy. 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. Her research uses novel technology that reduces the consequence of disease and evaluates the mechanisms by which providers and patients receive, understand, and respond to health information technology.

Dr. Miller’s research portfolio includes federally-funded work from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Through peer-reviewed journal articles (over 60 to date) and addresses to more than 10,000 people, Dr. Miller seeks to engage both clinical and non-clinical audiences in the evaluation and improvement of safety and quality in healthcare using human-centered systems approaches.

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. Additionally, Dr. Miller plays an active role in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, NODE.Health, and AcademyHealth.

Dr. Miller serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics and as a peer reviewer for multiple clinical and informatics journals. 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 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. She currently serves as faculty of the MedStar Research Scholars program.

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. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Law from the University of Maryland, Baltimore Francis King Carey School of Law.

Research Interests

Dr. Miller’s research interests include the following:

  • Clinical decision making
  • Risk perception and information processing
  • Web and mobile application development
  • Biomedical informatics
  • User-centered design
  • Clinical support tools for treatment of sepsis
  • Human factors engineering and patient safety

Selected Research

Clinical Decision Support (CDS) for Chronic Pain Management
As co-principal investigator on this project, Dr. Miller and Dr. Hettinger are leading a project to develop, implement, disseminate, and evaluate CDS for patients and clinicians in the area of chronic pain management. Increased scrutiny of opioid prescribing for patients with chronic pain, especially among non-pain management specialists, has led healthcare systems to work on optimizing pain therapy and consider opioid-dose reductions. Specifically, the project advances knowledge for patients and clinicians through CDS tools that enhance the quality of clinical discussion and shared decision-making for optimizing pain management therapy. This research is sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Mobilizing a Million Hearts: Leveraging Health IT Architecture to Advance Clinical Knowledge and Care Coordination
As principal investigator on this project, Dr. Miller and team are developing and piloting a SMART on FHIR application to optimize the current state of cardiovascular risk calculators. The proposed work represents a multi-disciplinary approach that tackles both technological and design components of health IT architecture while understanding end-user needs (e.g., cognitive support), workflow, and data integration. This research is sponsored through a Leading Edge Acceleration Project (LEAP) by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

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 sponsored by an RO1 grant from the National Library of Medicine.

View Dr. Miller’s publications.

  • Research Areas
  • Health Services/Quality/Outcomes