Jessica S Ancker   Associate Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research

  • +1 646 962 9404

My research centers on using health information technology (IT) to improve decisions and healthcare quality, especially through optimal design and behavioral science. I have expertise in both electronic health records (EHRs) and consumer information technologies. I have a strong commitment to applying this work to help make the healthcare system more patient-centered, to reduce healthcare disparities, and to improve the fit between information technology and the work done by both providers and patients.

My initial area of focus in health informatics was the relationship between IT design and cognition/decision-making. I draw from research traditions in health literacy, human factors, and psychological decision science (behavioral economics) to examine how information design can improve comprehension and decisions. My publications have focused on health numeracy, interactive games and graphics, and patient risk perceptions and decisions.

I am crosstrained in health services research, and have conducted large-scale retrospective cohort studies leveraging EHR data to study healthcare quality. By combining health services research methods with my behavioral science perspective, I have also done novel work analyzing EHR data to draw inferences about physician decisions, use of clinical decision support, and alert fatigue.  


    • Addressing origins of the opioid epidemic by improving prescribing for opioid-naive patients: Our team is leveraging behavioral science insights to deliver subtle "nudges" in the electronic prescribing system to prompt primary care providers to reduce doses and durations of opioid prescriptions. Funder: NYS Health Foundation 17-05047.


    • Improving healthcare quality with user-centered patient portals: After completing human factors research on electronic patient portals, I am conducting a retrospective cohort study to assess impact on health outcomes. Funding: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality K01 HS021531.


    • Ambulatory Cancer Care Electronic Symptom Self-Reporting (ACCESS) for Surgical Patients: In collaboration with researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am helping to develop a symptom-reporting system for post-surgical patients. Funding: PCORI (Pusic and Temple, PIs)



    • HINF5004 Research Methods in Health Informatics (graduate students, fall term)


  • Introduction to Biostatistics and Statistical Literacy (medical students, spring term)

  • Statistical literacy for journalists (guest lecture series, Columbia Journalism School, MIT Knight Fellowship in Science Journalism)


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Grants awarded

  • Improving Healthcare Quality With User-Centric Patient Portals  awarded by Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality Principal Investigator 2013 - 2018
  • Timely Training of Workers Competent to Support EHR Deployment and Meaningful Use  awarded by United States Department of Health & Human Services Key Personnel 2010 -
  • Novel Techniques for Patient-Centric Disease Management  awarded by National Science Foundation Principal Investigator Subaward 2013 -



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eRA Commons ID

  • jsa2002