• Name: Melanie C. Wright, Ph.D.
  • Institution: Idaho State University
  • Department: College of Pharmacy - Meridian campus
  • Phone: 208-373-1941
  • Email: melaniewright2@isu.edu

Summary: Dr. Wright’s “Human-centered design for health” research lab conducts research toward the design of technology, tools, processes, and education to improve patient safety, health care workers professional quality of life, and health and wellness outcomes. We apply rigorous human-centered design, evaluation, and clinical research methods toward innovating and improving patient care and wellness in a variety of health care settings and applications. The main focus of our lab is to develop and improve technologies to support both patients and health care workers to reduce harm to patients, improve patient outcomes, and support health care worker professional quality of life. Our recent NIH-NIGMS R01 award “Timely response to in-hospital deterioration through design of actionable augmented intelligence” will identify factors that influence clinicians’ perceptions of augmented intelligence (AI) usefulness, generate design principles for effective health risk surveillance human-AI interaction, and design human-AI user interfaces that meaningfully improve human-AI performance when responding to sepsis and acute kidney injury. Other current research in our lab targets understanding how primary and urgent care diagnosis and treatment of severe infection (pre-sepsis or sepsis) impacts sepsis hospitalizations, understanding and reducing cardiovascular risk among first responders, and understanding relationships between health care worker empathy, emotional wellness, and management of aggressive patients.

Minimum classes: N/A

Projects: Timely response to in-hospital deterioration through design of actionable augmented intelligence.  Students may:

  • assist in the design and development of patient scenarios and conduct of clinician interviews to evaluate their perception of the value of machine learning informed risk surveillance in hospital patient care,
  • participate in developing graphical display mockups of novel approaches to presenting in-hospital deterioration risk surveillance information,
  • participate in clinician interviews to review and refine approaches to integrating risk information into electronic health records and other healthcare information technology.

Understanding clinician empathy; Reducing violence from patients. Students may:

  • participate in the analysis of survey data to explore relationships between clinician emotional wellness, empathy components, perceived efficacy in managing patients, and exposure to patient violence,
  • participate in the development of approaches to impact clinician attitudes related to empathy for patients and management of violent patients,
  • participate in the development of research proposals to evaluate impact of different approaches to improving clinician emotional wellness and reducing patient violence,
  • conduct literature reviews or surveys to better understand the role of empathy in healthcare.

Development and evaluation of mHealth (patient and/or clinician-facing) applications to improve patient wellness and management of chronic diseases.

  • conduct literature and technology exploration activities to identify specific wellness or chronic disease management topics that may benefit from improved mHealth applications.

Evaluation and improvement of health care technology through human-centered design approaches.

  • based on technology or health applications of their own choosing, conduct evaluations of current technology design and implement human-centered design methods to propose design improvements.
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