Paula Tanabe, who joined the DUSON faculty in July 2011, came to Duke from the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, where she was Research Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine with a secondary faculty appointment at the Institute for Healthcare Studies. She earned a BS in Nursing at Rush University and an MS in Nursing at Loyola University, Chicago. She completed her PhD in 1996 at the University of Illinois-Chicago. From 2004 to 2006, she was a post-doctoral Health Services Research Fellow at Northwestern University, and completed an MPH at Northwestern in 2006.
Dr. Tanabe’s research in emergency medicine and health services includes studies of pain management practices in the emergency department with a strong emphasis on sickle cell disease, the role of the emergency clinician in screening and referral for patients with undetected hypertension, and research with the Emergency Severity Index (ESI) five-level triage system. She served as the Co-Chair of the National Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)/ American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) five-level triage task force that has made national recommendations regarding five-level triage systems, and is currently a member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health Expert Panel developing evidence-based guidelines for primary care providers in the care of patients with sickle cell disease. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Emergency Nursing and the American Academy of Nursing.
Dr. Tanabe has over 20 years of experience as an ED nurse, researcher and educator and has published more than 40 journal articles. She was co-author and co-editor of the Emergency Severity Index, Version 4: Implementation Handbook published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and was co-leader in the production of a 2-DVD video that is included in the standard training materials for the Emergency Severity Index.