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Milisa Manojlovich, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Milisa Manojlovich

Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership
Room 4306 NURS1

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

Telephone: (734) 936-3055
Fax: (734) 647-2416
Milisa Manojlovich is accepting new PhD students.


  • Interdisciplinary communication
  • Visual-based patient safety methodologies
  • The role of communication in diagnostic error
  • Health information and communication technology
  • Cancer care delivery

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

  • Novel Assessments of Technical and Non-Technical Cardiac Surgery Quality (PI Likosky). R01H146619. Role: co-I
  • Patient Engagement in Reporting Medication Events during Transitions of Care (PI Jiang). 1R01HS02784601. Role: co-I
  • Engineering whole health into hospital care to improve wellness: The M-Wellness Laboratory (M-Well) (PI Saint). 1R18HS028963. Role: co-I
  • Ensuring Safe and Effective Delivery of Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy for Veterans (Co-PIs Harrod & Krein). VHA. 1I01HX003691-01. Role: co-I
  • Comparing inotrope practice variation in Cardiac Survey. (PI Mathis). 1R01HL167790-01. 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

  • Associate Editor, BMJ Quality & Safety, 2019 – present
  • Co-Director, National Clinician Scholars Program at Michigan

Notable Awards / Honors

  • 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
  • Recognized "Top-Cited Scientist", Science-Wide Author Databases for Standardized Citation Indicators, Sept. 2022
  • Ruth M. Colket Visiting Professor, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Feb. 22-23, 2032


  • Ph.D., 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

  • Crist, K., Lafferty, M., Umberfield, E., Manojlovich, M. (2022). Which factors contribute to shared understanding between physicians and nurses in inpatient oncology care? A qualitative exploration. Cancer Nursing, 45(2), E338 – E344. DOI: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000959

  • Mathis, M. R., Yule, S., Wu, S., Dias, R. D., Janda, A. M., Krein, S. L., Manojlovich, M., Caldwell, M. D., Stakich-Alpirex, K., Zhang, M., Corso, J., Louis, N., Xu, T., Wolverton, J., Pagani, F. D., & Likosky, D. S. (2021). The impact of team familiarity on intra and postoperative cardiac surgical outcomes. Surgery, 170(4), 1031-1038. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2021.05.020.

  • Manojlovich, M. & Krein, S.L. (2022). We don’t talk about communication: Why technology alone cannot save clinically deteriorating patients. BMJ Quality & Safety. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2022-014798. Published ahead of print.

  • Manojlovich M., Krein, S.L., Kronick, S.L., Mahajan, P., Graber, M.L. Distributed cognition and the role of nurses in diagnostic safety in the emergency department. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; August 2022. AHRQ Publication No. 22-0026-2-EF.

  • Terwilliger, I. A., Manojlovich, M., Johnson, J. K., Williams, M. V., & O'Leary, K. J., Effect of COVID-19 on the implementation of a multifaceted intervention to improve teamwork and quality for hospitalized patients: A qualitative interview study. (2022). BMC Health Services Research, 22, 1379. doi: 10.1186/s12913-022-08795-5.  

  • Chang, H. E. & Manojlovich, M. (2023). Clinical nurses' patient safety competency, systems thinking, and missed nursing care: A cross-sectional survey. International Journal of Nursing Practice 29(2), e13130. doi: 10.111/ijn.13130

  • Manojlovich, M., Rizvi-Toner, A., DasGupta, R., Farris, K., Friese, C. R., Kostoff, D., Mackler, E., Millisor, V., & Titler, M. G. (2023). Video reflexive ethnography as an intervention to improve oral anti-cancer agent patient education: A pilot study. PEC Innovation, 2 100148. doi: 10.1016/j.pecinn.2023.100148

  • Manojlovich, M., Barwig, K., Bekele, J., Bradshaw, K., Ali Charania, N. A. M., Luncy F., Streelman, M., Leech, C. (2023). Using video to describe the patient-controlled analgesia pump programming process: A qualitative study. Journal of Nursing Care Quality. doi: 10.1097.NCQ.0000000000000717.

  • O'Leary, K. J., Johnson, J. K., Williams, M. V., Estrella, R., Hanrahan, K., Leykum, L. K., Smith, G. R., Goldstein, J. D., Kim, J. S., Thomspon, S., Terwilliger, I., Song, J., Lee, J., & Manojlovich, M. (in press). Effect of complementary interventions to redesign care on teamwork and quality for hospitalized medical patients: A pragmatic controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine

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