543E Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

Phone: 614-292-4623

Primary Professional Areas of Interest

  • Human factors engineering
  • Patient safety
  • Informatics

Research Focus

The primary research objective is to apply human factors engineering to improve patient safety in healthcare.

Health Informatics

 Dr. Patterson’s research on bar code medication administration and clinical reminders was identified by the Association for Healthcare Research and Quality, the VA, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society as seminal in identifying negative unintended consequences associated with the implementation of health information technology. She was a co-author on the national standard for the summative usability testing methodology for ensuring the safety of electronic health records published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as published in NISTIR 7804 and 7804-1. On a project for which she recently served as Principal Investigator funded by the Association of Healthcare Research and Quality, a redesign of the tones and escalation strategies reduced time to respond to Code Blue events in the Wexner medical center for continuous cardiac and respiratory monitoring. These alerts are received by nurses on hospital-provided mobile devices on telemetry units.

Her direction is to improve the usefulness, workflow, efficiency, usability, and accuracy of clinical documentation in electronic health records by care providers in hospitals and outpatient clinics. These improvements are achieved by applying human factors methodologies such as workflow analysis, cognitive task analysis, and usability evaluations. In addition, she is interested in incorporating machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and mixed reality to enhance naturalistic decision making.

Communication During Transitions

Dr. Patterson’s second focus of research is communication during transitions of care. She has conducted ethnographic observational research on patient handovers during shift changes by physicians in intensive care and the emergency department and nurses in intensive care and acute care. She aided the design and implementation of an overview sheet to support physician sign-outs in internal medicine in the Veteran’s Administration and developed online training for resident physician sign-outs. Previously, she received the Hospira Research Grant from the National Patient Safety Foundation to study the use of collaborative cross-checking strategies to catch erroneous diagnoses and inappropriate treatment plans during shift changes by physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses. Currently, she serves as one of three Principal Investigators improving communication between obstetricians-gynecologists, pediatricians, family practice physicians, and patients to reduce post-natal care morbidity and mortality for mothers and infants.

Her direction is to embed innovative communication technologies in electronic health records, hospital-provided technologies such as Vocera and Connexall, and personal device applications to aid transitions of care, communication following a disrupting event and ad hoc ‘huddle’ communications.


Dr. Patterson is currently funded by the Association for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and The MITRE Corporation.

Recent Research

Hansen, C. J., Rayo, M. F., Patterson, E. S., Yamokoski, T., Abdel-Rasoul, M., Allen, T. T, Socha, J., & Moffatt-Bruce, S. D. (2021). Perceptually discriminating the highest priority alarms reduces response time: a retrospective pre-post study at four hospitals. Human factors.
Patterson, E. S., Rayo, M. F., Edworthy, J. R., & Moffatt-Bruce, S. D. (2021). Applying Human Factors Engineering to Address the Telemetry Alarm Problem in a Large Medical Center. Human Factors.
Sushereba, C.E., Militello, L.G., Wolf, S., Patterson, E. S. (2021). Use of Augmented Reality to Train Sensemaking in High-Stakes Medical Environments. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making.

Recent Presentations

“AAMI Artificial Intelligence Roundtable” on May 24, 2021.
“Assessing and reducing complexity of cognitive work supported by Health Information Technology” to Veteran’s Health Administration’s HFE’s Brown Bag Series on July 14, 2020.

Courses Taught

  • HIMS 5550 Human Factors in Healthcare (online section)
  • HIMS 5635 Quality Management and Performance Improvement in Healthcare (online section)


  • 1994: BS, Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
  • 1996: MS, Industrial & Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University
  • 1999: PhD, Industrial & Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University