In-Person: MIE Distinguished Seminar Series with Professor Kristen Miller: “Re-engineering the Future of Diagnostic Safety: A Human Factors Engineering Approach”

Friday, February 10, 2023

Mechanical Engineering Building, MC102
5 King's College Road

Interested members of the U of T community who would like to attend the seminars can email Kendra Hunter at

Professor Kristen Miller
Georgetown University (School of Medicine)

Re-engineering the Future of Diagnostic Safety: A Human Factors Engineering Approach

Despite considerable investment and advances in patient safety, there are still hundreds of thousands of patients being harmed by medical error each year. A different way of thinking is required to ‘move the needle’ on diagnostic safety specifically. Human factors approaches underpin current patient safety and quality improvement science, offering an integrated, evidenced, and coherent approach to patient safety, quality improvement, clinical excellence, and diagnostic error. Human factors rests on a systems approach — one must examine the human, interactions, and inter-dependencies within a larger system in order to optimize performance. And diagnostic safety is a perfect platform given challenges and opportunities with cognitive biases, decision-making, communication, and teamwork. Dr. Miller will share findings from a research portfolio of human factors engineering and diagnostic safety including systems engineering approaches that leverage health IT, patient engagement, rapid-cycle prototyping, and usability testing.

Kristen Miller, DrPH, MSPH, MSL, CPPS is the Senior Scientific Director of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and Affiliate Faculty at Georgetown Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics. 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 usability, human error, and patient safety. Her portfolio includes federally funded work from the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, and Pew Charitable Trust. Research interests also include an evaluation of the ethical, legal, and policy implications of health information technology and digital health tools.

MIE’s Distinguished Seminar Series features top international researchers and leading experts across major areas of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering. The speakers present about their latest research and offer their perspectives on the current state of their field. The seminars are part of the program requirements for MIE Master of Applied Science and PhD students. The Distinguished Seminar Series is coordinated for 2022-2023 by Assistant Professor Merve Bodur.

View all upcoming MIE Distinguished Seminars.


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