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. She serves as Principal Investigator on a project funded by AHRQ to reduce false alarms with continuous cardiac monitoring and improve auditory cardiac and respiratory alerts received by nurses on mobile devices on telemetry units.

Her direction is to improve the efficiency, usability, and accuracy of clinical documentation in electronic health records by care providers in hospitals and outpatient clinics by applying human factors methodologies such as workflow analysis, cognitive task analysis, and usability evaluations. In addition, she is interested in preventing unintended use of networked information technologies by improving defensive strategies for cyber-attacks.

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. In 2011, 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. 

Her direction is to reduce ‘information foraging’ before and after a shift change handover by providing personalized one-page ‘at a glance’ summary reports of patients which are annotated on paper during a shift.


Dr. Patterson is currently funded by the Association for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Commerce, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Recent Research

Butz J, Brick D, Rinehart-Thompson LA, Brodnik M, Agnew AM, Patterson ES. Differences in coder and physician perspectives on the transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS: A survey study. Health Policy and Technology. 2016 Mar 18.

Rayo MF, Kowalczyk N, Liston BW, Sanders EB, White S, Patterson ES. Comparing the Effectiveness of Alerts and Dynamically Annotated Visualizations (DAVs) in Improving Clinical Decision Making. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. 2015 Sep 1;57(6):1002-14. 

Patterson ES, Lowry SZ, Ramaiah M, Gibbons MC, Brick D, Calco R, Matton G, Miller A, Makar E, Ferrer JA. Improving Clinical Workflow in Ambulatory Care: Implemented Recommendations in an Innovation Prototype for the Veteran’s Health Administration. eGEMs. 2015;3(2).

Recent Presentations

"Reducing Information Foraging with ‘At a Glance’ Displays.” HIMSS HIT User Experience Community webinar on May 31, 2016.

"Better Evidence. Better Decisions. Better Health: Clinical Decision Support and User Experience.” AcademyHealth online panel on June 2, 2016.

"EHR Usability and Patient Safety Risks.” 2016 OHIMA Annual Meeting on March 9, 2016.

Courses Taught

  • HIMS 5635 Quality Management and Performance Improvement in Healthcare
  • HIMS 5650 Healthcare Information Systems and Technology


  • 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
My Research Links

My Research Links

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