faculty profile

Patricia Sengstack   DNP, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FAAN

Senior Associate Dean for Informatics
Nursing Informatics Executive, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Professor


Dr. Sengstack is an Associate Professor for the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and a Nursing Informatics Executive for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is the former Chief Nursing Informatics Officer for the Bon Secours Health System. She served for nine years as the Chief of Clinical Informatics at the National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. She has her DNP from Vanderbilt University and a Master's in Nursing Informatics from the University of Maryland. She is the Past President of the American Nursing Informatics Association, from 2013 - 2015. She has multiple informatics publications, and most recently published a Sigma Theta Tau book titled, "Mastering Informatics: A Healthcare Handbook for Success". She teaches informatics at the masters and doctoral levels at Vanderbilt University and has recently taken on a role at Vanderbilt's Medical Center as a nursing informatics executive to provide strategic informatics leadership. Her focus over the last several years has been health information technology's impact on patient safety as well as building a program to improve the evaluation process of IT systems.


  • DNP, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • Post-Masters in Informatics, University of Maryland Baltimore
  • MS, University of Maryland Baltimore
  • BSN, University of Maryland Baltimore


  • Board Certified in Nursing Informatics (ANA/ANCC) - January 2007 to present
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Information Management Systems (CPHIMS/HIMSS) - February 2008 to 2017

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Reducing the documentation burden for nurses in the electronic health record
  • Optimization of clinical systems to improve patient safety
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of clinical decision support in an electronic health record
  • Developing informatics structures and processes to support a geographically disperse integrated healthcare delivery system

Academic Interests

  • Nursing and Healthcare Informatics

Representative Publications


Richardson, K., Sengstack, P., Doucette, J., Hammond, W., Schertz, M., Thompson, J., Johnson, C., Evaluation of Nursing Documentation Completion of Stroke Patients in the Emergency Department: A Pre-Post Analysis Using Flowsheet Templates and Clinical Decision Support (2016). Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 34(2), 1 - 10.

Kannry, J., Sengstack, P., Thyvalikakath, T., Poikonen, J., Middleton, B., Payne, T., Lehmann, C., The Chief Clinical Informatics Officer: AMIA Task Force Report on CCIO Knowledge, Education, and Skillset Requirements. (2016). Applied Clinical Informatics, 7(1), 143-176.

Book Chapters

Sengstack, P (2016). Information System Lifecycles in Health Care. In Finnell, J.T. & Dixon, B.E. (Eds.) Clinical Informatics Study Guide. (255-286) New York: Springer Publishing.

Sengstack, P (2014). Health Information Technology: Striving to Improve Patient Safety. In Saba, V., McCormick, K. Essentials of Nursing Informatics (6th Ed.). (419-428).New York: McGraw Hill.


Sengstack, P, Boicey, C (2015). Mastering Informatics: A Healthcare Handbook for Success. Indianapolis, Indiana: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

Representative Presentations

EBP and Nursing Research: Harnessing Healthcare Information to Transform Patient Care. Keynote Presentation for the 12th Annual WellSpan Health Collaborative Evidence-Based Practice and Nursing Research Conference. April 19, 2018, York, PA.

The Burden of Clinician Documentation in the Electronic Health Record Era. Widener University Keynote for MBA in Healthcare Administration 40th Anniversary Seminar. Chester, PA., April 17, 2018.
Structure and Governance to Support Demand Management and System Optimization for an EHR. Clinical Care Classification (CCC) System. 3rd Annual User Meeting on Adoption, Implementation, and Outcomes.   December 8, 2017. Nashville, TN.

Workflow, Workarounds, and Overworked Health Systems Innovations and Challenges for Quality, Safety, and Technology. ECRI Institute?s 24th Annual Conference on the Use of Evidence in Policy and Practice. November 28, 2017. Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Journey to Patient Safety: Where We've Been and How Health IT Can Help. Views From the Top Session at HIMSS17 with ECRI. Orlando, FL. Feb. 22, 2017. 

Understanding Top Health IT Safety Hazards. Institute for Healthcare Improvement Annual Conference 2016. Orlando, FL. Dec. 6, 2016. 

Use Cases in Health IT: What Are They and How to Test Them? Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics. University of Maryland's School of Nursing. Baltimore, MD. July 20, 2016

Top Ten Health IT Safety Hazards and What to do About Them. HIMSS16 Conference & Exhibition. Las Vegas. March 1, 2016

Health IT and Patient Safety: A Nursing Perspective from the United States. Keynote closing presentation at Canada's National Health Informatics eSafety Summit. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Oct 27, 2015.

Clinical Informatics: Practical Tools and Tips You Can Use in Your Practice. Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics, University of Maryland's School of Nursing. Baltimore, MD. July 22, 2015

Dashboards and Data: A CNO/CNIO Strategy Driving Care & Safety Improvement. 2015 American Nurses Association Quality Conference. Orlando, FL. February 6, 2015

Professional Organizations

  • Serving in a leadership role for ANA/ONC Documentation Burden/Standardization Group. Helping to reduce the burden of clinical documentation for nurses in the electronic health record.
  • Serving on ONC's EHR Usability Change Package Technical Expert Panel. Helping to review and provide feedback on an interactive document being created via a government contractor for ONC. March 2017 - present 
  • Serve as co-lead for ECRI Workgroup (National Patient Safety Organization - PSO) in the creation of guidelines for Developing, and Maintaining an Organizational Health IT Safety Program. Also serve as a nurse representative on ECRI?s Expert Advisory Panel. Feb 2017 - present 
  • Peer reviewer for AMIA?s Applied Clinical Informatics Journal. Sept 2017 - present
  • Peer reviewer for NAM (formerly IOM) for informatics related articles. Oct 2017 - present 
  • Serve on ANIA?s Past President's Council. April 2016 - present 
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA)
  • Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society
  • American Medical Informatics Association
  • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society