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Sara Jean Singer, PH.D.

TitleAssociate Professor of Health Care Management and Policy
InstitutionHarvard School of Public Health
DepartmentHealth Policy and Management
AddressHarvard School of Public Health
Kresge Bldg, Room 317
677 Huntington Ave
Boston MA 02115
Phone617/432-7139
Other Positions
TitleAssistant Professor of Medicine
InstitutionMassachusetts General Hospital
DepartmentMedicine
DivisionInstitute for Health Policy


 Biography 
 awards and honors
2003 - 2007Fellowship
2005 - 2007Fellowship
2007 - Most Outstanding Abstract
2008 - Runner-up Best Paper
2009 - Best Paper Award
2009 - Most Outstanding Abstract
2009 - Best Paper Award
2010 - Best Paper Award, Theory to Practice Category
2011 - Best Paper Award, Theory to Practice Category
2012 - 2013Junior Faculty Sabbatical

 Overview 
 overview
My research in the field of health care management and policy focuses on how organizational leadership and culture impact efforts to implement health delivery innovations, integrate patient care, and improve performance of health care organizations. A key feature of this research is the development of survey instruments that measure provider and patient perspectives on key interpersonal and organizational factors, enabling benchmarking and comparative effectiveness studies, rapid and reliable feedback about the effectiveness of delivery system innovations, and broader dissemination of more successful interventions. In my work, I use organizational and leadership theory and mixed quantitative and qualitative methods.

I developed and teach a course at the Harvard School of Public Health, entitled Health Care Organizations and Organizational Behavior: Leadership and Management for Learning, Innovation, and Performance Improvement, which is offered twice a year. I also teach in the Harvard PhD in Health Policy core course on the subject of “Patient Safety, Safety Culture and Safety Leadership.” In addition, I serve as advisor or dissertation committee member for Masters and Doctoral students at the School of Public Health and for junior faculty recipients of career development awards.

Previously I co-founded and served as Executive Director for the Center for Health Policy at Stanford, where I was also a Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer (1993-2003). I also served as Staff Director for the California Managed Care Improvement Task Force (1997-98), a Senior Legislative Assistant for Health Policy in the US House of Representative (1994), and Health Policy Analyst at the Office of Management and Budget (1992).


 Bibliographic 
 selected publications
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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  1. Rosenthal MB, Friedberg MW, Singer SJ, Eastman D, Li Z, Schneider EC. Effect of a multipayer patient-centered medical home on health care utilization and quality: the rhode island chronic care sustainability initiative pilot program. JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Nov 11; 173(20):1907-13.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Singer SJ, Rivard PE, Hayes JE, Shokeen P, Gaba D, Rosen A. Improving patient care through leadership engagement with frontline staff: a Department of Veterans Affairs case study. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2013 Aug; 39(8):349-60.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Singer SJ, Vogus TJ. Reducing Hospital Errors: Interventions that Build Safety Culture. Annu Rev Public Health. 2013 Mar 18; 34:373-96.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Singer SJ, Friedberg MW, Kiang MV, Dunn T, Kuhn DM. Development and preliminary validation of the patient perceptions of integrated care survey. Med Care Res Rev. 2013 Apr; 70(2):143-64.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Singer SJ, Vogus TJ. Safety climate research: taking stock and looking forward. BMJ Qual Saf. 2013 Jan; 22(1):1-4.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Singer S, Kitch BT, Rao SR, Bonner A, Gaudet J, Bates DW, Field TS, Gurwitz JH, Keohane C, Campbell EG. An exploration of safety climate in nursing homes. J Patient Saf. 2012 Sep; 8(3):104-24.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Liu SW, Chang Y, Camargo CA, Weissman JS, Walsh K, Schuur JD, Deal J, Singer SJ. A mixed-methods study of the quality of care provided to patients boarding in the emergency department: comparing emergency department and inpatient responsibility models. Med Care Res Rev. 2012 Dec; 69(6):679-98.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Kane NM, Singer SJ, Clark JR, Eeckloo K, Valentine M. Strained local and state government finances among current realities that threaten public hospitals' profitability. Health Aff (Millwood). 2012 Aug; 31(8):1680-9.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Nembhard IM, Singer SJ, Shortell SM, Rittenhouse D, Casalino LP. The cultural complexity of medical groups. Health Care Manage Rev. 2012 Jul-Sep; 37(3):200-13.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Singer SJ, Moore SC, Meterko M, Williams S. Development of a short-form Learning Organization Survey: the LOS-27. Med Care Res Rev. 2012 Aug; 69(4):432-59.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Singer SJ, Clark JR. Entrepreneurship, culture, knowledge, and learning: a multispective view of patient safety improvement. Health Care Manage Rev. 2011 Oct-Dec; 36(4):299-300; discussion 303-5.
    View in: PubMed
  12. Singer S, Shortell SM. Implementing accountable care organizations: ten potential mistakes and how to learn from them. JAMA. 2011 Aug 17; 306(7):758-9.
    View in: PubMed
  13. Cooper JB, Singer SJ, Hayes J, Sales M, Vogt JW, Raemer D, Meyer GS. Design and evaluation of simulation scenarios for a program introducing patient safety, teamwork, safety leadership, and simulation to healthcare leaders and managers. Simul Healthc. 2011 Aug; 6(4):231-8.
    View in: PubMed
  14. Liu SW, Chang Y, Weissman JS, Griffey RT, Thomas J, Nergui S, Hamedani AG, Camargo CA, Singer S. An empirical assessment of boarding and quality of care: delays in care among chest pain, pneumonia, and cellulitis patients. Acad Emerg Med. 2011 Dec; 18(12):1339-48.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Liu SW, Singer SJ, Sun BC, Camargo CA. A conceptual model for assessing quality of care for patients boarding in the emergency department: structure-process-outcome. Acad Emerg Med. 2011 Apr; 18(4):430-5.
    View in: PubMed
  16. Singer SJ, Hayes J, Cooper JB, Vogt JW, Sales M, Aristidou A, Gray GC, Kiang MV, Meyer GS. A case for safety leadership team training of hospital managers. Health Care Manage Rev. 2011 Apr-Jun; 36(2):188-200.
    View in: PubMed
  17. Conley DM, Singer SJ, Edmondson L, Berry WR, Gawande AA. Effective surgical safety checklist implementation. J Am Coll Surg. 2011 May; 212(5):873-9.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Hansen LO, Williams MV, Singer SJ. Perceptions of hospital safety climate and incidence of readmission. Health Serv Res. 2011 Apr; 46(2):596-616.
    View in: PubMed
  19. Campbell EG, Singer S, Kitch BT, Iezzoni LI, Meyer GS. Patient safety climate in hospitals: act locally on variation across units. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2010 Jul; 36(7):319-26.
    View in: PubMed
  20. Singer SJ, Burgers J, Friedberg M, Rosenthal MB, Leape L, Schneider E. Defining and measuring integrated patient care: promoting the next frontier in health care delivery. Med Care Res Rev. 2011 Feb; 68(1):112-27.
    View in: PubMed
  21. Singer SJ, Rosen A, Zhao S, Ciavarelli AP, Gaba DM. Comparing safety climate in naval aviation and hospitals: implications for improving patient safety. Health Care Manage Rev. 2010 Apr-Jun; 35(2):134-46.
    View in: PubMed
  22. Singer SJ, Falwell A, Gaba DM, Meterko M, Rosen A, Hartmann CW, Baker L. Identifying organizational cultures that promote patient safety. Health Care Manage Rev. 2009 Oct-Dec; 34(4):300-11.
    View in: PubMed
  23. Singer SJ, Hartmann CW, Hanchate A, Zhao S, Meterko M, Shokeen P, Lin S, Gaba DM, Rosen AK. Comparing safety climate between two populations of hospitals in the United States. Health Serv Res. 2009 Oct; 44(5 Pt 1):1563-83.
    View in: PubMed
  24. Hartmann CW, Meterko M, Rosen AK, Shokeen P, Singer S, Gaba DM. Relationship of hospital organizational culture to patient safety climate in the Veterans Health Administration. Med Care Res Rev. 2009 Jun; 66(3):320-38.
    View in: PubMed
  25. Singer SJ, Gaba DM, Falwell A, Lin S, Hayes J, Baker L. Patient safety climate in 92 US hospitals: differences by work area and discipline. Med Care. 2009 Jan; 47(1):23-31.
    View in: PubMed
  26. Singer S, Lin S, Falwell A, Gaba D, Baker L. Relationship of safety climate and safety performance in hospitals. Health Serv Res. 2009 Apr; 44(2 Pt 1):399-421.
    View in: PubMed
  27. Singer SJ, Falwell A, Gaba DM, Baker LC. Patient safety climate in US hospitals: variation by management level. Med Care. 2008 Nov; 46(11):1149-56.
    View in: PubMed
  28. Tucker AL, Singer SJ, Hayes JE, Falwell A. Front-line staff perspectives on opportunities for improving the safety and efficiency of hospital work systems. Health Serv Res. 2008 Oct; 43(5 Pt 2):1807-29.
    View in: PubMed
  29. Rosen AK, Gaba DM, Meterko M, Shokeen P, Singer S, Zhao S, Labonte A, Falwell A. Recruitment of hospitals for a safety climate study: facilitators and barriers. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2008 May; 34(5):275-84.
    View in: PubMed
  30. Hartmann CW, Rosen AK, Meterko M, Shokeen P, Zhao S, Singer S, Falwell A, Gaba DM. An overview of patient safety climate in the VA. Health Serv Res. 2008 Aug; 43(4):1263-84.
    View in: PubMed
  31. Shortell SM, Singer SJ. Improving patient safety by taking systems seriously. JAMA. 2008 Jan 30; 299(4):445-7.
    View in: PubMed
  32. Gaba DM, Singer SJ, Rosen AK. Safety culture: is the "unit" the right "unit of analysis"? Crit Care Med. 2007 Jan; 35(1):314-6.
    View in: PubMed
  33. Bundorf MK, Wagner TH, Singer SJ, Baker LC. Who searches the internet for health information? Health Serv Res. 2006 Jun; 41(3 Pt 1):819-36.
    View in: PubMed
  34. Whembolua GL, Granger DA, Singer S, Kivlighan KT, Marguin JA. Bacteria in the oral mucosa and its effects on the measurement of cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone, and testosterone in saliva. Horm Behav. 2006 Apr; 49(4):478-83.
    View in: PubMed
  35. Wagner TH, Bundorf MK, Singer SJ, Baker LC. Free internet access, the digital divide, and health information. Med Care. 2005 Apr; 43(4):415-20.
    View in: PubMed
  36. Bundorf MK, Singer SJ, Wagner TH, Baker L. Consumers' use of the Internet for health insurance. Am J Manag Care. 2004 Sep; 10(9):609-16.
    View in: PubMed
  37. Gaba DM, Singer SJ, Sinaiko AD, Bowen JD, Ciavarelli AP. Differences in safety climate between hospital personnel and naval aviators. Hum Factors. 2003; 45(2):173-85.
    View in: PubMed
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