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Brenda Zierler, PhD, RN, RVT

Professor, Department of Biobehavorial Nursing and Health Systems, School of Nursing
Associate Director, Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies (ISIS)
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Vascular Division, School of Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Health Services, School of Public Health
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Medical Education and Biomedical Informatics
University of Washington

Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems
Box 357266
Seattle, WA 98195-7266
Email Address:

Education: Dr. Zierler completed her PhD degree in Nursing from University of Washington in 1996. She also completed a predoctoral Fellowship in Health Services from the UW School of Public Health, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare, Research and Quality.

Area of Expertise: Dr. Zierler led the School of Nursing in facilitating and articulating the School’s agenda for innovative educational programs. Dr. Zierler developed the interprofessional Clinical Informatics and Patient Centered Technologies masters program that is co-taught by faculty from the UW Schools of Nursing, Medicine and Public Health. She now leads a HRSA- training grant focusing on faculty development in the use of technology.  Dr. Zierler’s research explores the relationships between the delivery of health care and outcomes—at both the patient and system level. In collaboration with other scholars and clinicians in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, she created an interdisciplinary work group that developed appropriate and specific health outcome measures to evaluate the effectiveness of a coordinated approach in care delivery for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Her previous research supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Patient Safety Grant) focused on the implementation and evaluation of a system-supported VTE Safety Toolkit. The Toolkit has been disseminated nationally for the purpose of improving the quality and safety of care. As co-principle investigator of a Macy Foundation-funded study (with Brian Ross, MD, PhD,) Dr. Zierler leads a group of interprofessional faculty and students in the development of a simulation-based, team training program to improve collaborative interprofessional communication both within teams and with patients. Her team will conduct a validation study of the impact of a simulation-based team training program on students’ interprofessional communication skills as measured by an innovative web-based assessment tool. In addition, Dr. Zierler and team will prepare the validated training program for dissemination to other health sciences schools by creating an exportable “Interprofessional Training Toolkit.” Dr. Zierler is a fellow in the RWJ Nurse Executive Program (2008 cohort).

Publications of Interest:

    1. Nguyen D, Nguyen H, Zierler BK. (2011). A Survey of Nursing Faculty Needs for Training in Use of New Technologies for Education and Practice. Journal of Nursing Education, 50(4), 181-189.
    2. Lee JA, Zierler BK, Glenny RW, Wittkowsky AK, van Servellen G, Amin AN. (2011). Venous Thromboembolism Prevention Strategies in Hospitalized Patients. Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management, 18(2), 66-73.
    3. Lee JA, Zierler BK, Liu CF, Chapko M. (2011). Cost-effective diagnostic strategies in patients with a high, intermediate, or low clinical probability of pulmonary embolism. Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 45(2), 113-121.
    4. Abbott PA, Zierler B. (2010). The Use of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants in Washington and Oregon Emergency Departments. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, 32(4), 1-8.
    5. Zierler B, Ross B, Liner D. (2010). The Macy Interprofessional Collaborative Project, The University of Washington. Journal of Allied Health, 39(3), e131-132.
    6. Demiris G, Zierler B. (2010). Integrating problem-based learning in a nursing informatics curriculum. Nurse Education Today, 30, 175–179.
    7. Kondo A, Zierler BK, Isokawa Y, Hagino H, Ito Y. (2009). Comparison of outcomes and costs after hip fracture surgery in three hospitals that have different care systems in Japan. Health Policy, 91(2), 204-210. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2008.12.006
    8. Henriksen K, Battles JB, Keyes MA, Grady ML, editors. (2008). Advances in patient safety: New directions and alternative approaches. Vol. 3. Performance and Tools. Venous Thromboembolism Safety Toolkit: A Systems Approach to Patient Safety. Zierler BK, et al. AHRQ Publication No. 08-0034-3. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Retrieved from
    9. Kim EH, Stolyar A, Lober WB, Herbaugh AL, Shinstrom SE, Zierler BK, Soh CB, Kim Y. (2007). Usage patterns of a personal health record by elderly and disabled users. AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings, 11, 409-13. Retrieved from
    10. Lee JA, Zierler BK. (2006). Venous thromboembolism safety toolkit: A systems approach to safe practice interventions. Student Health Technology Informatics, 122, 765. Retrieved from
    11. Thomas IH, Zierler BK. (2005). An integrative review of outcomes in patients with acute primary upper extremity deep venous thrombosis following no treatment or treatment with anticoagulation, thrombolysis, or surgical algorithms. Vascular Endovascular Surgery, 39(2), 163-74. doi: 10.1177/153857440503900206
    12. Mullen KH, Berry DL, Zierler BK. (2004). Computerized symptom and quality-of-life assessment for patients with cancer part II: acceptability and usability. Oncology Nurse Forum, 31(5), E84-9. doi: 10.1188/04.ONF.E84-89