Alison R. Murphy Ph.D. | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Alison R. Murphy, Ph.D.

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  • Assistant Teaching Professor of Information Sciences and Technology

E361 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-1045
  • B.S. Information Sciences and Technology (Application and Integration), Penn State University [2004]

  • Ph.D. Information Sciences and Technology (Health IT), Penn State University [2015]


As an assistant teaching professor in the College of IST at Penn State, I enjoy teaching students to think critically about the socio-technical impacts of technology on individuals, organizations, and society. I am also dedicated to researching how to improve the usability of health information technology for both individuals and organizations through the use of qualitative methods and UX design principles.

I received by PhD from the Penn State where I conducted qualitative research on the use and design of health information technology (HIT) by collaborative patient-care teams. My own dissertation study included a 8-month ethnographic field study in a hospital emergency room and in the in-patient ward. The study aimed to understand the socio-technical factors that impact collaborative hospital work in order to improve the usability of HIT systems for patient-care teams.

Prior to getting my PhD, I worked as an IT project manager and computer systems validation manager at Johnson & Johnson within the pharmaceutical sector supporting research & development, clinical trials, and manufacturing. My responsibilities included leading the development, validation, implementation, and training of major IT systems. I also helped lead the development of company-wide operating procedures regarding the validation procedures of laboratory information management systems. Based on my experience implementing systems for my business partners in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry and seeing first‐hand the frustration that users had with these systems, I was inspired to get my PhD and conduct research on how to improve the design of these health information technologies.

Research Interests:

Improving the usability of health information technology.

Research Keywords:

  • Health Information Technology
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • User Experience (UX) Design
  • Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

Murphy, A.R. & Reddy, M.C. (2017). Identifying patient-related information problems: A study of information use by patient-care teams during morning rounds. International Journal of Medical Informatics (IJMI), 102 (June 2017), 93.102.

Murphy, A.R. & Reddy, M.C. (2017). Ambiguous accountability: The challenges of determining who is responsible for managing patient-related information problems in collaborative patient-care teams. The 2017 Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) Conference, Portland, OR, Feb 2017.

Eikey, E., Murphy, A.R., Reddy, M.C., Xu, H. (2015). Designing for privacy management in hospitals: Understanding the gap between user activities and IT staff’s understandings. International Journal of Medical Informatics (IJMI), 84(12), 1065-1075.

Murphy, A.R. & Reddy, M.C. (2014). The identification and management of information problems by emergency department staff. The 2014 American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium, Washington, DC, Nov 15-19, 2014.

Murphy, A.R., Reddy, M.C., McNeese, N. (2014). Exploring the perceptions and use of electronic medical record systems by non-clinicians. The 2014 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS), Vancouver, BC, Jun 21-25, 2014.

Murphy, A.R., Reddy, M.C., Xu, H. (2014). Privacy practices in collaborative environments: A study of emergency department staff. The 2014 Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Conference, Baltimore, MD, Feb 15-19, 2014.

Johnson, N., Murphy, A. McNeese, N., Reddy, M., Purao, S. (2013). A survey of rural hospitals’ perspectives on health information technology outsourcing. The 2013 American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Symposium, Washington, DC, Nov 16-20, 2013.