Photo of Ephrem Abebe
Ephrem Abebe
Assistant Professor
Phone: 317-880-5416
2019 Postdoctoral research fellowship in human factors engineering and patient safety, Johns Hopkins University-School of Medicine, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality 2016 PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Pharmacy 2014 MS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Pharmacy 2007 Masters of Pharmacy Practice, National Institute of Pharmacy Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, India 2004 Bachelor of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University-School of Pharmacy, Ethiopia

My research focuses on learning and supporting patient and family healthcare work and understanding the organizational contexts where these occur.    Much like healthcare professionals doing healthcare work in their formal work settings, patients and their family caregivers are also engaged in work that helps heal an illness, control symptoms, and improve overall quality of life. This work may occur in both formal healthcare settings and patients’ homes and communities. Such work is also diverse and may include: navigating a difficult healthcare system and information; performing specific tasks at home such as accessing, organizing, preparing, taking and monitoring effects of medications; managing medical devices and supplies; communicating care plans, concerns, and goals with healthcare professionals and family members. 
Some aspects of patient and family work (such as filling a prescription and taking medications) may appear obvious to healthcare professionals and leaders and have received much emphasis as subjects of research inquiry and programmatic development. Yet, other aspects of this work may remain hidden from healthcare professionals’ view due to the very nature of how healthcare is organized and delivered (i.e, emphasis on activities within formal healthcare settings and limited knowledge of patient’s experience of healthcare after they return to their homes and communities). 
I use human factors and systems engineering methods and approaches to understand patient and family work. And I partner with healthcare professionals and leaders, patients, and their families to explore their unique perspectives towards the goals of developing new and/or improved systems of care and tools that enable healthcare professionals better engage and support patients and their families.

Lab Members
Ahmad Furqan Kazi (Graduate Student)
Yejin (Jin) Seo (Graduate Student)
Tanner Jayne Sergesketter (Research Nurse)
Honors and Credentials

Certified Professional in Patient Safety, National Patient Safety Foundation/Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Representative Publications
  1. Holden RJ, Campbell NL, Abebe E, Clark DO, Ferguson D, Bodke K, Boustani M, Callahan C. Usability and Feasibility of Consumer-Facing Technology to Reduce Unsafe Medication Use by Older Adults. Res Social Admin Pharm. Feb 26 pii: S1551-7411(19)30033-6. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2019.02.011. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Xiao, Y., Abebe, E., Gurses, A.P. Engineering a Foundation for Partnership to Improve Medication Safety During Care Transitions. Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management. 2019; 24: 9(1) 30-36.
  3. Reddy A, Abebe E, Rivera AJ, Stone JA, Chui MA. Interruptions in Community Pharmacies: Frequency, Sources, and Mitigation Strategies. Res Social Adm Pharm 2018 Nov 3. pii: S1551-7411(18)30743-5. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2018.10.030. [Epub ahead of print]
  4. Abebe, E., Chui, M.A. Exploring Barriers to Medication Safety in an Ethiopian Hospital Emergency Department: A Human Factors Engineering Approach. Innovations in Pharmacy. 2018;9(1): Article 7. doi:10.24926/iip.v9i1.950.
  5. Abebe E, Stone JA, Lester CA, Chui MA. The Quality of Handoffs in Community Pharmacies. 2017. J Patient Saf. 2017 Apr 27. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000382. [Epub ahead of print]