Faculty Profiles

Rachel Patzer, PhD

Rachel E. Patzer, PhD, MPH

Primary Appointments

Associate Professor, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Director, Emory Health Services Research Center, Emory Departments of Medicine & Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Director, Transplant Health Services and Outcomes Research Program, Emory University School of Medicine

Joint Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University School of Medicine

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine

Telephone: 404.727.6047

Email: rpatzer@emory.edu

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member: 2011


Dr. Patzer is a health services researcher whose investigations focus on healthcare access, quality of healthcare delivery, and healthcare outcomes. She has specific research interests in disparities in social determinants of health, community-based participatory research, predictive analytics, health care quality, medication adherence and self-management, mobile health technology, patient education, and healthcare resource utilization.

Her recent research projects have focused on the development of a novel surveillance data registry for kidney disease, the development of quality metrics, epidemiologic investigations of the causes of variability in access to renal transplantation among pediatric and adult end-stage renal disease patients, and the development and evaluation of pragmatic interventions to improve access to transplantation.

Dr. Patzer is also evaluating the individual, community, and health system level factors that impact post-transplant outcomes—including patient and graft survival—in both renal and liver transplantation; using predictive analytics to improve the real-time identification and management of high risk transplant recipients; and working to determine the impact of neighborhood poverty, degree of rurality, distance to health care centers, and other geospatial factors on health outcomes.

Dr. Patzer led the team that developed the iChoose Kidney app, Emory University's first researcher-led mobile iPhone and iPad app, which provides an individualized comparison of mortality risk estimates for patients on dialysis vs. living or deceased donor kidney transplantation. In addition to being available as a free download from the iTunes store, a version is available online at www.ichoosekidney.emory.edu. This clinical decision aid was recently evaluated in a multi-center randomized trial and found to show promise in improving the communication between physicians and patients regarding the survival benefit of transplantation compared to dialysis. The app's impact on increasing access to kidney transplantation is also being measured.

The results of Dr. Patzer's work are often published in such high-profile journals as JAMA, Health Affairs, American Journal of Transplantation, and American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Dr. Patzer also advises students, residents, and faculty in the Departments of Surgery and Medicine on research study design and analysis. She teaches in the Master's in Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) Program, and is a Co-Director of the MSCR TL1 program.

As the Director of the Health Services Research (HSR) Center, a cooperative initiative of the Departments of Medicine and Surgery of the Emory University School of Medicine, Dr. Patzer is leading the expansion, implementation, and promotion of health services research that is designed to deliver better patient outcomes and work toward making clinical care delivery perform at the highest level of quality and value.


View Dr. Patzer's publications on PubMed.


  • PhD, Epidemiology, Emory University, 2008-2011

  • MPH, Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 2005-2007

Current Organizational Memberships

  • Vice Chair, United Network for Organ Sharing Data Advisory Committee

  • Member, United Network for Organ Sharing Policy Oversight Committee

  • Board of Directors, Surgical Outcomes Club

  • Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients Visiting Committee Member

  • Member of the American Society of Transplantation & American Society of Transplant Surgeons Quality Metrics Task Force

  • American Society of Transplantation

  • American Society of Transplant Surgeons

  • American Society of Nephrology

  • Academy Health

  • Member, NIH HSOD (Health Services Organization and Delivery) Study Section

  • Southeastern Kidney Transplant Coalition Co-Founder

Research Interests

  • Disparities in healthcare services, access, and delivery

  • Social determinants of health

  • Healthcare outcomes, with an emphasis on study design, methods, and analysis

  • Healthcare quality, including measurement and evaluation methods

  • Healthcare workforce training and education

  • Health Policy

  • Mobile health technology to improve the healthcare system