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Health Information Technology and Simulation (HITS) Laboratory

Who We Are

Dr. Tami H Wyatt, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, Co-Director of the HITS lab, is an Associate Professor and Chair of Educational Technology and Simulation at the College of Nursing. She has twenty-five years experience as a registered nurse, fifteen years of experience in higher education, and ten years of experience as an instructional designer. Dr. Wyatt has a funded research path in health information technology and expertise in simulation. She has worked with Dr. Li for over four years on health information technology research projects.

Dr. Xueping Li, PhD, Co-Director of the HITS lab, is an Associate Professor and Director of the Ideation Laboratory (iLab) at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at COE. Dr. Li has expertise in complex systems modeling, simulation, scheduling, and optimization, information systems analysis and design, and healthcare. Drs. Li and Wyatt, along with two other business partners, own a small business company, Academic Technology Innovations, which recently sold a health related software application they developed to an international publishing company. The software, Lippincott’s DocuCare, was globally released in July 2012 and is currently used by more than 130 universities with about 10,000 units. The University of Tennessee maintains rights to use and test the software, which is one project currently underway in the HITS lab.

Mr. Tom Berg, Program Director of Partnerships and Technology Transfer, Y-12 National Security Complex is a representative of the Y-12 National Security Complex. Mr. Berg will assist in coordinating varied technology projects associated with Y-12 while providing appropriate Y-12 resources. His involvement is essential as a representative of future collaborative work. Dr. Li currently has an ongoing Y-12 PDRD project with Mr. Berg to simulate and optimize the workflow in Y-12 Occupational Health System (OHS).

Ms. Susan Fancher joins our team March 1, 2013 as the HITS simulation coordinator. Ms. Fancher has experience in simulation training from Indiana University, which is well known for their innovative and progressive teaching programs. Ms. Fancher has experience in grant writing and currently holds four patents with colleagues at Indiana University. Her presence will be a great asset to our team because of her experience in simulation and interests in advancing health information technology.

What We Do

The Health Information Technology and Simulation Laboratory (HITS Lab), an organized research unit at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville was founded December 2011. The overall goal of the HITS lab is to advance the science of health information technology and examine ways HITS enhances consumer health and professional health education. This interprofessional ORU brings together the expertise of engineers and nurses to test technology, human computer interaction, and generate knowledge in health information technology. The ongoing efforts and the goals of the HITS lab through FY13 (June 2013), are to establish groundwork for a facility, future collaborations on fundable projects, and purchase required testing equipment for the HITS lab.

This interprofessional ORU is a joint endeavor between the College of Nursing (CON) and the College of Engineering (COE). The Co-Directors, Drs. Wyatt and Li, share a long term goal of developing a federally funded HITS Center, which is possible with the growth and expansion of this ORU. In concert with the growth of this ORU, the Dean of the CON has secured university space to expand simulation learning. Approximately 7,000 square feet of space is being renovated to become a state of the art simulation facility with embedded technology to support testing and technology development. The Development Officers for CON and COE are both actively seeking funding to furnish the HITS lab. The facility, scheduled to open in summer 2013, has a twofold purpose: 1) promote active simulated learning in nursing, engineering, social work and pharmacy students, and 2) be a development and testing facility for health information technology. The Deans of CON and COE endorse this collaborative work and the expansion of this ORU.


Dr. Tami Wyatt
co-Director of HITS Laboratory
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
College of Nursing
1200 Blvd., Room 239
Knoxville, TN 37996-4180
Phone: 865 974 6804

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