ISE Welcomes Dr. Sarah Henrickson Parker

Posted: November 14, 2017

Improving healthcare delivery: Understanding individual and team contributions to system performance


Seminar by Dr. Sarah Henrickson Parker

Director of Human Factors Research, Carilion Clinic

Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute


Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 from 4:00 – 5:00pm

1005 Smith Lab, 174 W. 18th Ave.


My research focuses on better understanding individual and team performance in the complex domain of healthcare. I am interested in improving the delivery of healthcare, and the ‘sharpest end’ of the work system, where providers and patients meet. In this presentation, I will focus on three recent studies that have used multiple methods to evaluate individual and team performance. The first study focuses on observations of team performance in trauma resuscitations, identifying how dynamic team coordination changes and how teams can create re-coordination moments to adaptively coordinate their work. The second study uses a social network approach to understand how safety messages are translated across an intensive care unit. The final study uses a large data set from six hospitals, two healthcare systems to better understand how familiarity among the surgical team impacts patient outcomes. I will also discuss our ongoing research and applied work.


Dr. Sarah Henrickson Parker is the Director of Human Factors Research at Carilion Clinic and an Assistant Professor in the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. She has over 10 years of experience applying human factors and industrial/organizational psychology principles to healthcare. Dr. Parker received her PhD at University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She was a Ruth L. Kirschstein Post Doctoral Fellow. She is currently working on multiple projects focused on optimizing human performance in healthcare, and her research has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and others. Dr. Parker’s research interests include team performance and communication in high-risk settings, using near-real time physiological feedback to improve clinician performance, and integrating human factors into daily work in hospitals. She has presented at national and international conferences and published over 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters on human factors and patient safety. Most importantly, Dr. Parker and her husband Michael are parents of Layla, a 4 year old who loves singing and Jack, an 11 month old who will someday love sleeping.