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Johanna Westbrook

Professor of Health Informatics and Patient Safety, Macquarie University

Professor Johanna Westbrook, PhD is Director of the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University. She is internationally recognised for her research evaluating the effects of information and communication technology (ICT) in health care.

Johanna has led important research in the development and application of approaches to evaluate ICT, including new tools and methods which have been adopted internationally. She has particular expertise in the study of medication safety. Johanna has contributed to theoretical models regarding the design of complex multi-method ICT evaluations. Integral to assessing the effectiveness of ICT to innovate work, and improve safety and quality of care, is gaining a deep understanding of clinical work and communication processes. Thus a core element of Prof Westbrook’s research has been developing and applying novel observational and analysis approaches to investigate these processes in a range of health settings. This work has included the development of the Work Observation Method by Activity Timing (WOMBAT) software to support the conduct of observational workflow studies. Her research has led to significant advances in our understanding of how clinical information systems deliver (or fail to deliver) expected benefits and supported translation of this evidence into policy, practice, and IT system changes.

Johanna is an elected International Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics, Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Informatics, and has been an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. In 2014 she was named Australian ICT professional of the year by the Australian Information Industry Association. In 2016 she was appointed by the Federal Minister for Health to the Board of the Australian Digital Health Agency. She is Chair of the Deeble Institute Advisory Board, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, and a member of the Boards of the Sax Institute and the International Medical Informatics Association.


  • –present
    Professor of Health Informatics and Patient Safety, Macquarie University


  • 2000 
    University of Sydney, PhD