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April Savoy, PhD

April Savoy, PhD

  • Research Scientist, William M. Tierney Center for Health Services Research, Regenstrief Institute
  • Core Investigator, VA HSR&D Center for Health Information and Communication
  • Director, VA HSR&D Human-Computer Interaction and Simulation Laboratory
  • Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Technology, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI

Dr. April Savoy’s research interests include the application of human factors engineering to develop, evaluate, and implement socio-technical interventions that will increase efficiency of clinical workflows, enhance care coordination, and improve the quality of healthcare delivery. She has over 13 years of experience in human factors engineering from industry and academia. Her work has focused on designing information technologies that enhance situational awareness and decision-making across domains including ecommerce, gaming, and military. Since 2014, she has applied her human factors engineering expertise and multi-domain experience to healthcare. Dr. Savoy has developed and evaluated socio-technical interventions that better support and inform healthcare decision-making by healthcare professionals across care settings.

Her recent work assessed the use of health information technologies in clinical workflows, including consultation referrals, medication reconciliation, and hospitalist rounding. Dr. Savoy’s research provides foundational evidence for implementing the user-centered design process for future health information technologies that support healthcare professionals.

Dr. Savoy obtained degrees in computer science from Xavier University of Louisiana (B.S.) and Purdue University (M.S.). Her degree in industrial engineering is from Purdue University (PhD).

“The most useful and usable health information technology is patient-centered, evidence-based, and systematically engineered.”

Highlighted Publications

Savoy A, Saleem JJ, Barker BC, Patel H, Kara A. Clinician Perspectives on Unmet Needs for Mobile Technology Among Hospitalists: Workflow Analysis Based on Semistructured Interviews. JMIR Hum Factors. 2022 Jan 4;9(1):e28783. doi: 10.2196/28783. PMID: 34643530; PMCID: PMC8767475.

Murphy DR, Savoy A, Satterly T, Sittig DF, Singh H. Dashboards for visual display of patient safety data: a systematic review. BMJ Health Care Inform. 2021 Oct;28(1):e100437. doi: 10.1136/bmjhci-2021-100437. PMID: 34615664; PMCID: PMC8496385

Savoy A, Patel H, Murphy DR, Meyer AND, Herout J, Singh H. Electronic Health Records’ Support for Primary Care Physicians’ Situation Awareness: A Metanarrative Review. Hum Factors. 2021 May 25:187208211014300. doi: 10.1177/00187208211014300. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34033500

Savoy A, Frankel R, Weiner M. Clinical Thinking via Electronic Note Templates: Who Benefits? J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Mar;36(3):577-579. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06376-y. PMID: 33409889; PMCID: PMC7947108

Weiner M, Savoy A, Barker BC. Gains, losses, and uncertainties from computerizing referrals and consultations. Appl Ergon. 2020 Nov;89:103227. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2020.103227. Epub 2020 Aug 5. PMID: 32768721; PMCID: PMC7484235

Savoy A, Weiner M, Damush T. Closing the cross-institutional referral loop: Applying human factors to improve consultations. J Clinical and Trans Sci. 2020 Jun; 4(46).  doi: 10.1017/cts.2020.171

Savoy A, Militello L, Diiulio J, Midboe AM, Weiner M, Abbaszadegan H, Herout J. Cognitive requirements for primary care providers during the referral process: Information needed from and interactions with an electronic health record system. Int J Med Inform. 2019 Sep;129:88-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2019.05.027. Epub 2019 May 31. Erratum in: Int J Med Inform. 2019 Sep;129:394. PMID: 31445294.

Savoy A, Militello LG, Patel H, Flanagan ME, Russ AL, Daggy JK, Weiner M, Saleem JJ. A cognitive systems engineering design approach to improve the usability of electronic order forms for medical consultation. J Biomed Inform. 2018 Sep;85:138-148. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2018.07.021. Epub 2018 Jul 30. PMID: 30071316.

Militello LG, Savoy A, Porter B, Flanagan M, Wu J, Adams J, Rehman S, Abbaszadegan H, Weiner M. Hidden complexities in information flow between primary and specialty care clinics. Cog, Tech, and Work, Nov; (20)1-10. doi: 10.1007/s10111-018-0486-y

Savoy A, Patel H, Flanagan ME, Daggy JK, Russ AL, Weiner M. Comparative usability evaluation of consultation order templates in a simulated primary care environment. Appl Ergon. 2018 Nov;73:22-32. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2018.05.013. Epub 2018 Jun 7. PMID: 30098639.

Saleem JJ, Savoy A, Etherton G, Herout J. Investigating the need for clinicians to use tablet computers with a newly envisioned electronic health record. Int J Med Inform. 2018 Feb;110:25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2017.11.013. Epub 2017 Nov 23. PMID: 29331252.

Savoy A, Patel H, Flanagan ME, Weiner M, Russ AL. Systematic Heuristic Evaluation of Computerized Consultation Order Templates: Clinicians’ and Human Factors Engineers’ Perspectives. J Med Syst. 2017 Aug;41(8):129. doi: 10.1007/s10916-017-0775-7. Epub 2017 Jul 22. PMID: 28735373.

Current Research Projects

Human-Computer Interaction & Simulation Laboratory
This laboratory is used to advance knowledge of human computer interactions by capturing data for research and evaluate information technology designs and provides capabilities to record, collect and analyze data from human computer interaction. Role: Director

A Human Factors Investigation of Health Information Exchange: Tools to Support Providers’ Coordination of Medications
(IIR – VA HSR&D, PI: Weiner) (2018-2022)
The goal of this study is to identify providers’ underlying cognitive needs in order to develop technology design guidelines for presenting VA and HIE medication data. Role: Co-Investigator

Improving Patient Care and Physician Resilience through Effective Veteran-Centered Communication and Documentation Practices
(IIR – VA HSR&D, PI: Frankel) (2018-2023)
The objective is to optimize clinician use of computer-based technology in managing the administrative burdens of preparing for, enacting and documenting ambulatory visits. Role: Co-Investigator

Coordination Hub to Promote Research Optimizing Veteran-centric EHR
(SDR – VA HSR&D) (2020-2022)
This nationwide VA hub will support, promote, and enhance health services research and development related to modernization of the electronic health record; deliver timely and actionable research findings to VA decision-makers to improve implementation of the electronic health record. Role: Co-Investigator

Strengthening Cerner Implementation for Health Professions Trainees to Optimize Learning and Reinforce Veteran Care (SCHOLAR)
(PEC – VA HSR&D) (2021-2023)
The primary goal of this project is to optimize VA’s electronic health record (EHR) transition to support health professions trainees. Role: Co-Investigator

April Savoy, PhD
Areas of Focus