Patricia Trbovich

Dr. Trbovich is currently recruiting Master’s or PhD students. Please contact her Research Manager ( with your resume/CV and a description of your research interests. Students with interests that are aligned with our team’s research priorities will be contacted.

Professional Interests

Patricia Trbovich, Badeau Family Research Chair in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement at North York General Hospital, is Associate Professor of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. She leads the HumanEra team and holds cross appointments at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) at the University of Toronto and the Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. She is Associate Editor for the BMJ Quality and Safety journal.

Patricia has conducted extensive research on how to design and implement interventions (e.g., technologies, workflow processes) so they meet the needs of health care professionals. Her research program aims to develop a fundamental understanding of how to design information technologies to support high order cognitive functions while striking a balance between automation and human operation. She has also conducted extensive research on improving patient safety in outpatient chemotherapy environments, assessing the risks associated with intravenous medication administration, mitigating interruptions during delivery of high-risk medical procedures, and identifying latent safety threats and evaluating team performance during in-situ trauma simulations.


Dr. Trbovich has received funding for her research through various granting agencies including the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Ontario Centres for Excellence (OCE), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI).

In 2015, her team received the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation & Becton Dickinson Patient Safety Award recognizing outstanding achievement by healthcare professionals who have made a significant advancement toward the improvement of patient safety.

She has made significant contributions to “basic” and “applied” research through collaborations with the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC), Evidence Development and Standards (EDS), Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), and Health Quality Ontario (HQO) to evaluate medical technology such as smart infusion pumps, and offer evidence-based recommendations regarding their implementation in the Ontario health system.

She is promoting knowledge of Human Factors engineering worldwide through her collaborations with researchers in Brazil and Spain to develop of human factors expertise in their healthcare systems.

Other Affiliations

Thesis Supervision (2010+)

  1. Varuna Prakash. Interventions to Mitigate the Effects of Interruptions During High-Risk Medication Administration (2010) (Biomedical Engineering)
  2. Chris Colvin. An Exploratory Study of the Fundamental Characteristics Influencing the Analysis and Communication Activities of Health Care Incident Reporting Systems (2011) (Biomedical Engineering)
  3. Michelle Hanbidge. Proposed Strategies for Effeective Incident Information Flow, Organizational Learning, and Incident-Driven Quality Improvement in Health Care (2013) (Biomedical Engineering)
  4. Katherine Chan. Mitigating Risks Associated with Secondary Intravenous Infusions: An Empirical Evaluation of a Technology-based, Training-based, and Practice-based Intervention (2013) (Biomedical Engineering)
  5. Kyle Tsang. Development and Assessment of an Interactive Training Tool to Help Reduce Error Rate Associated with Shared Infusion Volume Management Tasks (2015) (Biomedical Engineering)
  6. Farzan Sasangohar. Understanding and Mitigating the Interruptions Experienced by Intensive Care Nurses (2015) (Mechanical and Industrial Engineering)
  7. Nimrah Abbasi. Standardization of Sonographic Prognostication of Prenatally Diagnosed Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) Across the North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTNet)(2018) (Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation)
  8. Soroush Abidi Tafreshi. Privacy and Security of Personal Health Information: A Novel User-Centric Approach (2018) (Biomedical Engineering)
  9. Carly Warren. A Time-Motion Study of Multidisciplinary Bedside Rounds in Pediatric Critical Care (2018) (Biomedical Engineering)
  10. Ying Ling Lin. Technology-Mediated Data, its Integration and its Impact on Intensive Care Cognitive Work (2018) (Biomedical Engineering)
  11. Cherryl Li. A Systems-Based Approach to Characterizing Intraoperative Factors Leading to Uncertainty in Laparoscopic General Surgery (2020) (Biomedical Engineering)
  12. Alanna Bateman. Improving Interprofessional Bedside Rounds in Pediatric Critical Care Unit (2020) ((Biomedical Engineering)
  13. Taylor Incze. Assessing Surgical Teamwork Skills and their Relationship to Adverse Events Using OR Black Box ® (2021) (Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation)
  14. Maaike deVries. Identifying Vulnerabilities for Diversion of Controlled Substances by Informing the Safeguards Needed in Canadian Hospitals to Protect Patients and Healthcare Workers (2022) (Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation)

Postdoctoral Fellows

  1. Betty Chang (2017-2018)
  2. Bonnie Armstrong (2022 – current)

Current Students

  1. Troy Francis (PhD)
  2. Azadeh Assadi (PhD)
  3. Vianca Evangelista (Master’s)