Milisa Manojlovich, PhD, RN, CCRN

Milisa Manojlovich

Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership
Room 4306 400NIB

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 936-3055
Fax: (734) 647-2416

In the news


  • Identify how communication (i.e., shared understanding) develops between clinicians from different disciplines
  • Link shared understanding to patient safety
  • Develop methods to measure communication
  • Measurement of communication
  • Understand how various healthcare environments affect nursing practice and patient safety

Dr. Manojlovich is the only nurse scientist in the country to lead a highly productive team seeking to advance patient safety by improving communication between physicians and nurses. This topic is of critical importance because poor interdisciplinary communication is one of the most common contributors to tens of thousands of adverse events for patients every year, including death. She is confronting the problem of poor communication on two fronts – conceptual and methodological - to provide the greatest impact on patient safety. Conceptual and methodological innovations are needed in concert because neither approach alone has been sufficient to solve the problem of poor communication, which has perplexed researchers for over 50 years.

In healthcare, communication is commonly defined as information exchange, borrowing heavily from aviation which focuses on sender-receiver characterizations and thus a transactional view of communication. Dr. Manojlovich promotes a broader view of communication, one focused on developing shared understanding between communicators and the transformational nature of communication that results when two people – with different perspectives – come to understand one another and learn something new. To make the greatest impact, Dr. Manojlovich is conducting research on this topic from multiple perspectives and is expanding the focus of communication to include other disciplines such as pharmacists as well as patients. She is currently principal investigator on a grant funded by the University of Michigan School of Nursing (Jo Anne Horsley and Janet Gatherer Boyles donor funds), as well as a co-investigator on several other studies, listed below.

Visit her Prevent Harms through Discovery and Innovation (PIVOT) Hub website.

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • Enhancing Patient Safety through Cognition & Communication: The "M-Safety Lab". Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (1P30 HS024385-01). Sept. 2015-Dec. 2019. Role: Co-I
  • Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) to reduce Central Line-associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI) and Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) in Intensive Care Units (ICU) with persistently elevated infection rates. Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Aug. 2017-July 2019. Role: Co-I
  • Communication Processes, Technology, and Patient Safety in Ambulatory Oncology Settings. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (1R01HS024914-01). 9/2017 - 8/2020. Role: Co-I
  • Redesigning Systems to Improve Quality for Hospitalized Patients. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (1R18HS02564). September 2017 – July 2022. Role: Co-I


Dr. Manojlovich’s teaching philosophy is a blend of constructivism and humanism. She uses the principles of adult education to provide structure within which learning can occur. She invites her students to engage in learning along with her and facilitates the exploratory process by creating an environment where students feel safe to express their thoughts and ideas. Dr. Manojlovich uses creative teaching strategies to enhance classroom experiences and includes components of cooperative learning in every class session. She teaches at both undergraduate and graduate levels, in clinical and didactic courses. As a faculty member she believes that, to facilitate the School’s teaching mission, her primary responsibility is to support and advocate for students.

Affiliations / Service

  • Member, American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), 1989-present
  • Member, Sigma Theta Tau International; Rho Chapter, 1989-present
  • Member, Council on Graduate Education for Administration in Nursing, 2003-present
  • Member, International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing, 2003-present
  • Member, AcademyHealth, 2006-present
  • Senior Member, Nursing Best Practice Research Unit, University of Ottawa, 2012-present
  • Member, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2015-present
  • Member, American Nurses Association, 2016-present

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Elizabeth Grossman Award, Indiana University, 1985
  • Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) Dissertation Grant, 2003
  • New Investigator Award, Interdisciplinary Research Group on Nursing Issues, AcademyHealth, 2008
  • Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan, Spring/Summer Research Grants Program, 2012
  • Award for Excellence in Nursing Research: Sigma Theta Tau International – Rho Chapter, 2015


  • PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • MS, Rush University, Chicago, IL
  • ADN, Indiana University, Gary, IN
  • BEd, University of Windsor, Windsor Ontario, Canada
  • BA, Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario, Canada

Publication Highlights

  • Manojlovich, M., Ameling, J., Forman, J., Judkins, S., Quinn, M., Meddings, J. (2019). Why don’t we talk about catheters? Characterizing contextual barriers to communication between Physicians and Nurses about catheter use, American Journal of Critical Care, 28(4), 290-298.

  • Umberfield, E., Ghaferi, A., Krein, S.L., Manojlovich, M. (2019). Using incident reports to assess communication failures and patient outcomes. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 45, 406 - 413. doi: PMC6590519

  • Manojlovich, M., Hofer, T., Krein, S. (2018). A conceptual framework to advance patient safety: Focus on communication. Journal of Patient Safety, Epub ahead of print [31 October 2018]. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000547

  • Manojlovich, M., Harrod, M., Hofer, T.P., Heshmati, A., Umberfield, E., Frankel, R., and Krein, S. (2018). A formative evaluation of the video reflexive ethnography method, as applied to the physician/nurse dyad. BMJ Quality & Safety. Epub ahead of print [24 June 2018] doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2017-007728

  • Al-Hamdan, Z., Banerjee, T., & Manojlovich, M. (2018). Communication with physicians as a mediator in the relationship between the nursing work environment and select nurse outcomes in Jordan. The Journal of Nursing Scholarship. Epub ahead of print [24 July 2018]

  • Costa, D.K., Valley, T.S., Miller, M.A., Manojlovich, M., Watson, S.R., McLellan, P., Pope, C., Hyzy, R.C., Iwashyna, T.J. (2018). ICU team composition and its association with ABCDE implementation in a quality collaborative. Journal of Critical Care, 44(1), 1-6.

  • Manias, E., Manojlovich, M., Wickramasinghe, N., & Gray, K. (2018). Using electronic medical records to create big data and to communicate with patients – is there room for both? Collegian, 25, 467-469.

  • Gupta, A., Harrod, M., Quinn, M., Manojlovich, M., Fowler, K., Singh, H., Saint, S., Chopra V. (2018). Mind the overlap: How system problems contribute to cognitive failure and diagnostic errors. Diagnosis. Epub ahead of print [18 June 2018].

  • O’Leary, K.J., Johnson, J.K., Manojlovich, M., Astik, G.J., Williams, M.V. (2017). Use of unit-based interventions to improve the quality of care for hospitalized medical patients: A national survey. Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

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