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Paula Tanabe, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN, FAEN, FAAN

Associate Professor
Phone: 
(919) 613-6038
Office: 
3132 Pearson Building

Paula Tanabe is an Associate Professor in the Schools of Nursing and Medicine at Duke. 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 (ED) with a strong emphasis on improving the care of persons in the ED with sickle cell disease. Dr. Tanabe developed the Emergency Department Sickle Cell Assessment of Needs and Strengths (ED-SCANS), a quality improvement framework aimed at improving the care of adults with sickle cell disease in the ED setting. She has also developed a pediatric version of the ED-SCANS. She is a member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) 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. Dr. Tanabe is collaborating with Community Care of North Carolina to disseminate the emergency department guidelines from NHLBI throughout emergency departments in North Carolina. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Emergency Nursing and the American Academy of Nursing.

Dr. Tanabe has also conducted research in the area of emergency department triage. She is one of four members of Emergency Severity Index (ESI) Triage Research Group and has conducted research on this triage system and worked with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to develop standard training materials; ESI is now used in over 50% of all EDs in the United States, and also in several other countries. Dr. Tanabe has over 30 years of experience as an ED nurse, researcher and educator and has published more than 40 journal articles.

Academic Program Affiliations

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
  • PhD in Nursing Program

Education

  • MPH - Northwestern University
  • PhD - University of Illinois at Chicago
  • MSN - Loyola University, Chicago
  • BS - Rush University

Research Interests

Dr. Tanabe has conducted investigations aimed at improving pain management in the emergency department, with a strong focus on patients with sickle cell disease. Dr. Tanabe developed the Emergency Department Sickle Cell Assessment of Needs and Strengths (ED-SCANS), a decision support tool aimed at improving the quality of care provided to adults with sickle cell disease in the ED setting.

Awards and Honors

  • 2015 || 2015 Health Care Hero in Nursing, Triangle Business Journal
  • 2013 || Selected participant, Chancellor’s Clinical Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (CCHAMP), 2014 cohort, Duke Medicine Chancellor's Cabinet
  • 2012 || Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
  • 2012 || Fellow, Academy of Emergency Nursing, National Emergency Nurses Association
  • 2007 || Mayday Pain and Society Fellow – A Media and Policy Initiative, The Mayday Fund
  • 2007 || Outstanding Oral Research Presentation, Spring Symposium, Illinois College of Emergency Physicians
  • 2004 || Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, NRSA, nstitute for Health Services Research and Policy Studies, Dept Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
  • 2003 || Nursing Practice Award, National Emergency Nurses Association
  • 2002 || Resident Research Award, 1st place, Illinois College of Emergency Physicians Resident Academic Forum, Oak Brook, IL
  • 2002 || Nursing Researcher Award, National Emergency Nurses Association
  • 1997 || Research Facilitation Award, National Emergency Nurses Association
  • 1996 || Doctoral Scholarship, National Emergency Nurses Association
  • 1992 || Nursing Educator Award, Sigma Theta Tau, Gamma Phi Chapter
  • 1987 || Inducted, Sigma Theta Tau

Areas of Expertise

  • Acute / Critical Care
  • Health Disparities

Areas of Interest

• Health services research
• Emergency department pain management
• Sickle cell disease
• Triage systems
• Pain management

Representative Publications

  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 26596876 Williams, H. and Tanabe, P. Sickle Cell Disease: A Review of Non-Pharmacological Approaches for Pain. J Pain Symptom Manage. November, 2015 Epub ahead of print
  • 2015 -- Zuzul, M. A. and Tanabe, P. and Blok, R. and Snyder, K. Improving preoperative cardiac assessment efficiency by using the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines: A quality improvement project Clinical Scholars Review. October, 2015 8(2); 164-171
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25673578 Williams, H. and Simmons, L. A. and Tanabe, P. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Advanced Nursing Practice: A Nonpharmacologic Approach to Health Promotion, Chronic Disease Management, and Symptom Control. J Holist Nurs. September, 2015 33(3); 247-59 PMC4532647
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25639238 Savage, W. J. and Buchanan, G. R. and Yawn, B. P. and Afenyi-Annan, A. N. and Ballas, S. K. and Goldsmith, J. C. and Hassell, K. L. and James, A. H. and John-Sowah, J. and Jordan, L. and Lottenberg, R. and Murad, M. H. and Ortiz, E. and Tanabe, P. J. and Ware, R. E. and Lanzkron, S. M. Evidence gaps in the management of sickle cell disease: A summary of needed research. Am J Hematol. April, 2015 90(4); 273-5
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 25356894 Freiermuth, C. E. and Haywood Jr, C. and Silva, S. and Cline, D. M. and Kayle, M. and Sullivan, D. and Thornton, V. and Tanabe, P. Attitudes toward patients with sickle cell disease in a multicenter sample of emergency department providers. Adv Emerg Nurs J. Oct-Dec, 2014 36(4); 335-47
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 25241635 Tanabe, P. and Martinovich, Z. and Buckley, B. and Schmelzer, A. and Paice, J. A. Safety of an ED High-Dose Opioid Protocol for Sickle Cell Disease Pain. J Emerg Nurs. September, 2014 36(4); 335-47
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 25203083 Yawn, B. P. and Buchanan, G. R. and Afenyi-Annan, A. N. and Ballas, S. K. and Hassell, K. L. and James, A. H. and Jordan, L. and Lanzkron, S. M. and Lottenberg, R. and Savage, W. J. and Tanabe, P. J. and Ware, R. E. and Murad, M. H. and Goldsmith, J. C. and Ortiz, E. and Fulwood, R. and Horton, A. and John-Sowah, J. Management of sickle cell disease: summary of the 2014 evidence-based report by expert panel members. JAMA. September, 2014 312(10); 1033-48
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 25035751 Thornton, V. L. and Holl, J. L. and Cline, D. M. and Freiermuth, C. E. and Sullivan, D. T. and Tanabe, P. Application of a proactive risk analysis to emergency department sickle cell care. West J Emerg Med. July, 2014 15(4); 446-58
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24633639 Hopkins, L. and McCroskey, D. and Reeves, G. and Tanabe, P. Implementing a urinary tract infection clinical practice guideline in an ambulatory urgent care practice. Nurse Pract. April, 2014 39(4); 50-4
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24436262 Bennett, A. and Garcia, E. and Schulze, M. and Bailey, M. and Doyle, K. and Finn, W. and Glenn, D. and Holladay, E. B. and Jacobs, J. and Kroft, S. and Patterson, S. and Petersen, J. and Tanabe, P. and Zaleski, S. Building a laboratory workforce to meet the future: ASCP Task Force on the Laboratory Professionals Workforce. Am J Clin Pathol. February, 2014 141(2); 154-67

Pages

Grant Funding (Selected)

  • Comparing Acute Pain Management Protocols for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease

    National Institutes of Health
    1R34-HL121224-01A1
    09/2014 to 06/2016
  • A Mindfulness-based Intervention For Pain Catastrophizing In Sickle Cell Disease

    National Institutes of Health
    1F31-NR014954-01
    09/2014 to 08/2017

    This project will be the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) of mindfulness-based stress reduction to reduce pain catastrophizing, and improve quality of life for sickle cell disease patients with chronic pain.

  • Improving Healthcare for Individuals and Families Living with Sickle Cell Disease

    National Institutes of Health
    1R13-MD008817-01
    04/2014 to 03/2015
    Role: PI
  • Improving the management of persons with sickle cell disease in the emergency department setting

    North Carolina Community of Care Network, Inc.
    02/2014 to 02/2015
  • Using Web-Based Technology to Improve Knowledge of Sickle Cell Disease for Emergency Department Providers

    Duke University SON CONCEPT Office CATALYST Award
    06/2014 to 05/2015
    Role: PI

    Project Goal: We will to conduct a formal evaluation of the website, and develop four new learning modules. As we build new modules, we will significantly increase the interactivity and use of technology to engage the learner.

  • Improving Emergency Department Management of Adults with Sickle Cell Disease

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
    R18-HS019646-01A1
    09/2011 to 07/2014

    This researching implementation and change while improving quality project will redesign the process of emergency department (ED) management for adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). The project will use the Failure Modes, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) to identify the vulnerabilities, risks, and weak points (failures) in the systems and processes involved in using the Emergency Department Sickle Cell Assessment of Needs and Strengths (ED-SCANS), a decision support tool developed to improve the quality of care for adults with SCD. The root causes of each failure will be identified, then redesigned. The aims for the proposed project are to: (1) conduct a proactive risk assessment, FMECA of the workflow and operational systems and processes involved in four key decisions of the ED-SCANS regarding evaluation and management of SCD patients; (2) develop and implement standardized processes and interventions for each of the four decisions of the ED-SCANS; (3) conduct a formal program evaluation of the quality improvement implementation at each site; and (4) develop a toolbox for dissemination and implementation of effective systems and processes to support use of the ED-SCANS in EDs at additional low-resource US hospitals.

  • Region 4 Heritable Disorders - Hemoglobinopathies

    Michigan Public Health Institute
    2129-K-38821-115-504200
    07/2011 to 05/2012
  • Sickle Cell Treatment Demonstration Project

    Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Bureau
    U1EMCO7656
    02/2011 to 08/2014
    Role: Consultant

    The project will use the Emergency Department Sickle Cell Assessment of Needs and Strengths (ED-SCANS) in four FQHC’s to identify adults with sickle cell disease seen in the emergency department who meet high risk or high utilization criteria, according to the ED-SCANS. Patients will be referred to a Regional Care Coordinator who will try to link patients with healthcare services.

  • Institutional National Research Service Award

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
    T32 HS000078
    07/2008 to 06/2013
    Role: Assistant Director

    Project Goal: This is an institutional training grant that supports a health services research

  • A Decision Support Tool for Adult Sickle Cell Emergency Department Patients

    National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research
    1K23NR010940-01A2
    02/2008 to 01/2011
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Title of Project: “A Decision Support Tool for Adult Sickle Cell Emergency Department Patients”
    Project Goal: The major goal of this career development project is to develop and pilot-test a decision support tool that will be used to identify service delivery needs and guide emergency department management and referrals for an under-served population: persons with sickle cell disease

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Monday, April 17, 2017

April is National Minority Health Month, a time to raise awareness on issues impacting health disparities and health equity in America.

Health disparities, a difference in health and well-being, have a significant impact among racial and ethnic populations in particular. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, deaths that result from health disparities cost the United States $1.24 trillion.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Paula Tanabe was recently elected as a new member of the American Society of Hematology by vote of the executive committee, the governing body of the Society.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Kudos to PhD student Dominique Bulgin and her sponsor, Paula Tanabe, and their entire team for their NIH/NRSA grant application entitled “Understanding the Intersection of Stigma and Self-Management in sickle Cell Disease." The proposal requests funding for a three-year period with a proposed start date of July 1, 2017.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Paula Tanabe recently made five presentations on sickle cell disease across the country during the months of September and October. Her presentations included:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

From the Center for Nursing Research...

Friday, September 23, 2016

With more than 90,000 people affected by sickle cell disease (SCD) in the United States, it’s important to have health care services that will improve both patient reported outcomes and access of care.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

From the Center for Nursing Research...

Friday, August 12, 2016

From the Center for Nursing Research...

Great News! Tanabe Receives Award

Thursday, August 4, 2016

PhD student Mariam Kayle along with Paula Tanabe and Sharron Docherty publish an article entitled "Challenges in Shifting Management Responsibility From Parents to Adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease" in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing. Other authors included Dr. Shah from Duke School of Medicine and Dr. Baker-Ward from North Carolina State University.

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