Professor, Schools of Medicine, Bloomberg Public Health, Whiting Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Gurses is a globally recognized researcher, educator, and thought leader in infusing human factors engineering principles and methods into health care with the goal to design better and safer work environments and systems for improving patient safety and health care worker safety. She is the Founding Director of the Center for Health Care Human Factors at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute and Professor in the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine, Bloomberg Public Health and Whiting Engineering. She is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications on human factors engineering, patient safety and quality of care, and health care worker safety.
Dr. Gurses has conducted research in a variety of care settings, including hospitals, ambulatory care, long-term care, and home care, as well as transitions of care between these settings. Her current research efforts include, but not limited to, re-engineering complex work systems to reduce healthcare-associated infections, improving safe management air flow and aerosol generating procedures in the operating rooms to reduce infection transmission, modeling cognitive and team work to improve diagnostic safety in emergency departments, improving safety care transitions/ handoffs, and improving medication safety among older adults using human-centered design approaches. Her research program has been funded by the CDC, AHRQ, NIH, NSF, multiple foundations and private institutions. Dr. Gurses served as a member of an ad-hoc National Academies Committee on a 2-year effort that produced the 2022 report titled “Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards.” She also served as an Editor/ Scientific Editor for several journals in her field of expertise and currently is an Executive Committee Member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Dr. Gurses received multiple awards for her contributions to the science of safety, including the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences Foundation Award, Liberty Mutual Award on Safety, and the International Ergonomics Association Best Paper Award in Occupational Safety and Ergonomics.
In addition to advancing the science of safety, Dr. Gurses’s health care human factors program has had a wide practical impact in the frontline clinical work. For example, when the Ebola epidemic hit in 2014, she led the Armstrong Institute’s efforts in partnering with the CDC to develop a web-based training to prepare health care professionals for potential Ebola cases by integrating human factors and industrial engineering, implementation science, and public health principles and methods with infection control and prevention and clinical expertise. Currently, as part of the CDC’s Project Firstline Initiative, and in collaboration with the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, Dr. Gurses is leading a large-scale, multidisciplinary, innovative project aimed at improving infection prevention and control in the operating rooms across the nation.