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Simulation and Human Factors Research Committee

The mission of the Simulation and Human Factors Research Committee (SHFRC) is to bring together simulation and human factors experts across all professions and disciplines of healthcare to support the research related to the Cedars-Sinai Simulation Center's mission, vision and goals. The committee is a multidisciplinary, multiprofessional group collaborating to further define, perform and promote simulation- and human factors-based research to improve safety, efficiency and wellbeing across healthcare.




Research Process

*The SHFRC will review REDCap submissions on a monthly basis

SHFRC Co-Chairs

Tara N. Cohen PhD

Dr. Cohen serves as the director of Surgical Safety and Human Factors Research, and is a research scientist and associate professor in the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In 2017, she earned her doctorate in human factors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Her research interests involve understanding how human behavior plays a role in complex healthcare environments, and what can be done to increase efficiency, safety and wellbeing across a healthcare system. Dr. Cohen's research projects involve investigating work system factors and interactions that impact the safe and efficient delivery of patient care. As faculty of the Women's Guild Simulation Center for Advanced Clinical Skills, she utilizes simulation to recreate patient safety events, teach hands-on human factors courses, investigate the usability and user experience associated with healthcare technologies, and study teamwork, group cohesion and performance in healthcare. As a researcher, her work in simulation has primarily involved creating novel opportunities to study teamwork in healthcare (primarily via the creation of escape rooms—simulated group activities where teams must work together to accomplish a shared goal). As a human factors practitioner, she uses simulation to better understand barriers impacting patient safety and provider experience by studying how individuals interact with tools/technology, tasks and their environments. Dr. Cohen has published her work in several peer-reviewed journals including JAMA Surgery, Anaesthesia, American Journal for Medical Quality, Journal for Patient Safety and Journal for Healthcare Quality. She has also given several presentations at both national and international meetings.

Pooja A. Nawathe, MD, FAAP, FCCM, CHSE-A, CHSOS

Dr. Pooja Nawathe is the medical director of simulation in the Department of Pediatrics. She is a Pediatric Critical Care Medicine physician by background and is the Associate Director of the Congenital Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CCICU). She finished her PCCM fellowship at Columbia University, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York and worked as a faculty for 3 years prior to joining Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 2014. She leads the development and introduction of educational programs for all staff in the pediatric ICU (physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists) with the Women's Guild Simulation Center. She spearheads the development and implementation of multiple in situ PICU and CCICU curriculums, as well as collaborates with the subject matter experts on the pediatric floor, nursery and NICU to oversee their simulations. As a researcher she studies curriculum development for interprofessional education involving physicians, nursing, respiratory therapist, cardiac surgeon, perfusionist, anesthesiologists and pharmacists. Implementation of these programs has not only been positively received but has also impacted satisfaction scores in the staff but also identified latent safety threats and led to sustainable solutions at multiple levels. With recent certifications of CHSE-A, CHSOS and current designation of Fellow of American College of Critical Care Medicine (FCCM), she is committed to the ideals and practice of multiprofessional critical care and its improvement through simulation-based interprofessional education. She serves on the Society of Simulation in HealthCare provisional site accreditation board of review, CHSE-A committee, CHSOS-A committee and Vice-Chair of the Pediatric Section. She is also the co-chair of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Research Section Simulation and Education Committee. She also is a member of INSPIRE (International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research, & Education) and IPSS (International Pediatric Simulation Society).

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Cedars-Sinai Pavilion
127 S. San Vicente Blvd., Suite A1300
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Fax: 424-315-2806