Abigail Wooldridge

 Abigail Wooldridge

Primary Research Area

  • Design and Manufacturing

Assistant Professor

209A Transportation Building

Education

  • Ph.D., Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, 2018. Thesis: "Team Cognition Distributed in Spatio-Temporal Processes: A Macroergonomic Approach to Trauma Care"
  • M.S., Industrial and Systems Engineering (Human Factors and Ergonomics), University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, 2013
  • M.Eng. (with thesis), Industrial Engineering (Operations Research and Applied Statistics), University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, 2012. Thesis: "Modeling the workflow of one primary care physician-nurse team."
  • B.S., Industrial Engineering, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, 2011

Biography

Professor Wooldridge is looking for research assistants! For more information, go here!

Academic Positions

  • Courtesy (0%) Appointment, Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, 2019 - Present
  • Affiliate Faculty (0%), Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, 2018-Present
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, 2018 - Present

Research Statement

Professor Wooldridge's research addresses the design of complex sociotechnical systems, primarily in healthcare settings, using mixed methods approaches to improve outcomes. In healthcare, that means patient outcomes (e.g., patient safety, quality of care) as well as clinician outcomes (e.g., workload, burnout). She has conducted research focused on primary care, care coordination of patients with chronic conditions (hospital to community care transitions) and trauma care. Her dissertation, conducted in the context of a larger project developing health information technology to support teamwork and care transitions, took a macroergonomic approach to studying care transitions of trauma patients. She then examined on the handoff communication associated with those handoffs as instances of team cognition.

Current projects include continuing to study care transitions; she plans to conduct observation studies of inpatient care transitions between hospital units as well as return to the community care setting by studying hospital discharge care transitions. Part of this work will explore the concept of the “patient journey,” i.e., spatio-temporal distribution of patients’ interactions with multiple care settings (e.g., hospitals, clinics, home, long-term care, etc.) over time. She plans to develop interventions, such as redesigned processes, new technologies, etc., to improve care transitions; this will involve participatory design processes and usability evaluations in her lab and/or simulated settings such as JUMP Simulation. A third area of research includes developing ways to measure team cognition, particular in care transitions. Key components of her research approach include engaging frontline workers (patients and their family as well as various healthcare professionals) and utilizing mixed methods, i.e., both qualitative and quantitative, research designs.

Check out the Human Factors in Sociotechnical Systems Laboratory, directed by Dr. Wooldridge, website at https://hfss.ise.illinois.edu/contact-us/

Graduate Research Opportunities

Human factors is a diverse field, and much of the work we do requires knowledge from multiple disciplines. Therefore, Professor Wooldridge is interested in having students from various majors including industrial engineering, computer science, psychology, health sciences, community health, and related fields.

A good starting point for all interested graduate students is to send an email to Professor Wooldridge that describes:

  • Your previous research and/or work experience
  • Why you specifically want to work with Professor Wooldridge
  • How your research interests align with the Macroergonomics and Complex Systems Lab.

If you are interested in a summer position, have a look here!

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Getting involved in research is a great way to apply knowledge learned in class and enhance your education - it is also a great way to explore the idea of graduate school. Students can get involved in projects in various stages, through a variety of ways. Interested students should email Professor Wooldridge directly.

Human factors is a diverse field, and much of the work we do requires knowledge from multiple disciplines. Therefore, Professor Wooldridge is interested in having students from various majors including industrial engineering, computer science, psychology, health sciences, community health, and related fields.

Research Interests

  • Patient journey
  • Patient safety
  • Care transitions
  • Teams
  • Team cognition
  • Sociotechnical systems
  • Macroergonomics
  • Human factors and ergonomics

Research Areas

  • Design and Manufacturing

Books Edited or Co-Edited (Original Editions)

Chapters in Books

  • Carayon, P., Kianfar, S., Li, Y., & Wooldridge, A. (2015). Organizational design: Macroergonomics as a foundation for human systems integration. In D. A. Boehm-Davis, F. T. Durso & J. D. Lee (Eds.), APA Handbook of Human Systems Integration (1 ed., pp. pp.573-588). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Carayon, P. & Wooldridge, A. R. Improving patient safety through the patient journey: Contributions from human factors engineering. In A. E. Smith (Ed.), Women in Industrial and Systems Engineering: Key Advances and Perspectives on Emerging Topics. Springer.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Hose, B.-Z., Hoonakker, P. L. T., Wooldridge, A. R., Ross, J., Kohler, J., Brazelton, T., Eithun, B., Kelly, M., Dean, S., Rusy, D., Gurses, A., Feckler, J. & Carayon, P. (2019) Physicians’ Perceptions of the Problem List in Pediatric Trauma Care. Applied Clinical Informatics, 10(1):113-122.
  • Carayon, P., Wooldridge, A. R., Hose, B.-Z., Salwei, M. & Benneyan, J. (2018) Improving Patient Safety Through Human Factors and Systems Engineering: Opportunities and Challenges. Health Affairs, 37(11), 1862-1869.
  • Wooldridge, A. R., Carayon, P., Hoonakker, P. L. T., Hose, B.-Z., Ross, J., Kohler, J., Brazelton, T., Eithun, B., Kelly, M., Dean, S., Rusy, D., Durojaiye, A. & Gurses, A. (Accepted). Complexity of the Pediatric Trauma Care Process: Implications for Multi-Level Awareness. Cognition, Technology and Work.
  • Wooldridge, A. R., Carayon, P., Eagan, B., & Shaffer, D. W. (2018). Quantifying the Qualitative with Epistemic Network Analysis: A Human Factors Case Study of Task-Allocation Communication in a Primary Care Team. IISE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering. DOI: 10.1080/24725579.2017.1418769
  • Wooldridge, A. R., Carayon, P., Hundt, A. S., & Hoonakker, P. L. T. (2017). SEIPS-based process modeling in primary care. Applied Ergonomics, 60, 240-254.
  • Carayon, P., Kianfar, S., Li, Y., Xie, A., Alyousef, B., & Wooldridge, A. (2015). A systematic review of mixed methods research on human factors and ergonomics in health care. Applied Ergonomics, 51, 291-321.

Professional Societies

  • Alpha Pi Mu; Chapter Vice-President 2011-2012
  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society; Inaugural Student Advisory Board Member 2013; Chapter President, Convention Delegate 2011-2012; National Awards Committee Chair 2011
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society; Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Diversity Committee Member 2017-2019, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Societal Impact Committee 2018-2019

Courses Taught

  • IE 340 - Human Factors
  • IE 498 - Job and Organization Design
  • IE 598 - Job and Organization Design
  • PSYC 358 - Human Factors

Related news

When engineers collaborate with healthcare clinicians, they have the possibility to change and improve the world of medicine, and that’s exactly what ISE Professor Abigail Wooldridge hopes to do.