Ellen Balka

Dr. Ellen Balka, PhD, is a professor in Simon Fraser University’s School of Communications, where she heads up the Assessment of Technology in Context Design Lab, and is a senior research scientist at Vancouver Coastal Health’s Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation (C2E2).

Balka brings a social science perspective to varied issues related to computerization of the health sector. Her research employs qualitative methods to develop insights to improve the design and implementation of health sector information technology to meet care providers’ and patient needs as care work is computerized. Partnerships with diverse health sector stakeholders inform her research questions and support the uptake of findings.

Balka’s research projects have included studies of computerization of general practice offices, pre-hospital handovers in care, informational needs of ambulatory care clinics and, studies which have addressed varied issues related to the production and use of health data in settings such as primary care clinics and genomics research.