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Defining Influence

Did you know that you practice influence every day at work and in your personal life? Influence is the ability to have an effect on behavior, decisions, and/or character. Although often regarded as an intuitive talent, influence is actually a learnable skill. It involves applying proven principles and techniques that can generate positive behavior, create stronger relationships, improve communication, and produce feelings of satisfaction and engagement.

Influence serves a major role in health care. For example, smoking cessation, medication adherence, the encouragement of healthy behavior such as dieting and exercise, managing perceptions and expectations, communication with patients or colleagues, and organizational learning and culture are all directly impacted by the conscious and nonconscious applications of influence.

The study, science, and application of influence are ubiquitous in other industries mostly to gain market share, to direct consumer consumption and behavior, and to impact sales. However, the field of influence can be expanded to health care to positively impact the health and well-being of patients and healthcare professionals.

The Influence Center Overview

The Influence Center was established May 1, 2015, as part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation at MedStar Health. The Center’s goal is to make MedStar Health colleagues and all healthcare professionals highly skilled experts in the art and science of influence in order to improve health and well-being.

Examples of key areas of expertise, coaching, and consulting that the Center provides include:

  • Patient Satisfaction

  • Employee Engagement

  • Physician and Nurse Well-Being and Retention

  • Healthcare Operations and Workflow

  • Risk Management

  • Quality and Safety

  • Difficult Conversations

  • Learning and Education

  • Marketing and Communication

  • Gratitude and Philanthropy


A variety of services are provided to MedStar Health and to external clients including influence consultations, workshops, speaking events, and professional development product suites.

Examples of workshops and speaking topics include the following:

  • Simple Rules of Rapport and Influence

  • Influencing Behaviors

  • Not So Difficult Conversations

  • Body Language for Bedside and the Board Room

  • Conversation Mastery

  • Persuasive Writing and Direct Response Copywriting

  • Rapid Reframing

  • Non-Conscious Influences and Perception

Innovators at MedStar Health

Innovation is everywhere at MedStar Health. Here are just a few examples of our innovators.

Please nominate other MedStar Health associates to be highlighted by emailing [email protected]

Meet our Innovators

Human Factors

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EHR User-Centered Design Framework

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Center for Human Factors Annual Report

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Our research team focuses on leveraging theory to conduct applied research that addresses critical safety problems in healthcare. With unparalleled access to a 10-hospital healthcare system, a diverse range of clinical expertise, and expertise in human factors, applied cognition, and safety engineering we are the nation's innovative leader in human factors and healthcare research.


We provide customized usability consultations and testing throughout the product development process. Through MedStar Health, our usability experts have direct access to healthcare domain specialists and end users in a wide array of clinical settings and use environments.




Whether you are a healthcare organization looking for an objective hazard analysis, a medical device manufacturer in need of an FDA 510(k) human factors evaluation, or a professional organization simply looking for a human factors consult, our team has the expertise to assist.


Are you interested in learning more about human factors within your daily life or applied to your healthcare environment? We offer education opportunities for clinicians, medical students and trainees interested in human factors as well as human factors experts interested in healthcare.


About MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab


MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab (SiTEL) designs and delivers online education, experiential learning and performance support tools for all roles across the MedStar Health system.

Our core areas of expertise:

Clinical Simulation Services operates simulation centers in Washington and Baltimore and a mobile simulation lab. We also provide in situ simulation services throughout the system, and operate a large American Health Association certification program in Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Cardio Life Support and Basic Life Support training.

Learning Research & Design creates original learning content using a blend of video production, graphic arts and animation, serious game development and instructional design.

Learning Technologies develops and maintains systems and tools that power learning at MedStar.

Clinical Education is composed of clinical educators who contribute domain expertise to MedStar SiTEL education content.

Outreach Services connects faculty, nurse educators, administrators and other key educational stakeholders to MedStar SiTEL resources.

Continuing Professional Education develops and certifies credentialed education opportunities that are designed by and for the healthcare team.

MedStar SiTEL is part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2), whose mission is to catalyze and create innovation that advances healthcare. We work closely with our academic partners, including the MedStar Health Research Institute, the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, the Georgetown University School of Medicine and School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the MedStar Health Office of Graduate Medical Education.

MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab Advisory Committee

We partner with distinguished colleagues and industry leaders to promote simulation-based training and provide safer environments for patients at MedStar Health hospitals. These include:


Jack Sava, MD, FACS
Director of Trauma
Associate Program Director of General Surgery
Jeffrey Dubin, MD, MBA
Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
Vice Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine
Tamika Auguste, MD
Director of OB/GYN Simulation
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Burton Lee, MD, FCCP
Fellowship Program Director
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Sangeeta Wood, MD
Director of the Simulation Program
MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab
Sonya Malekzadeh, MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery


MedStar SiTEL is accredited by a number of organizations. Read more here.



Changing lives, one learner at a time


Create and deliver educational solutions that impact patient care

Featured Project

Read about SiTEL’s work with EvidenceCare to provide point-of-care decision support for urgent care providers, and read how our Mobile Simulation Lab supported MedStar Health’s COVID-19 response.