hero image
Karen Giuliano - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Karen Giuliano

Professor, Elaine Marieb College of Nursing and Institute for Applied Life Sciences and Co-Director, Elaine Marieb Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Karen Giuliano's research is focused on the intersection of clinical needs and medical technology use, development and innovation.

Expertise (6)

Hospital-acquired Pneumonia

Medical Technology‎

Medical Devices

Critical Care Nursing

Product Development

Innovation and technology for health management


A longtime critical care nurse, Karen Giuliano's focus is on improving the delivery of care for nurses, and the experience of care for patients and family.

Her expertise includes human-centered design and clinical outcomes research. In addition, her own interdisciplinary program of research is focused in two main areas: non-ventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia and IV infusion safety using IV smart pumps.

Social Media






Meet Pacesetter & Associates principal & founder Karen K. Giuliano, PhD, RN, MBA


Education (3)

Boston College: Ph.D., Nursing

Babson College: M.B.A.

Boston College: B.S.N., Nursing

Select Recent Media Coverage (3)

Hospital-acquired pneumonia is killing patients. There's a simple way to stop it.

NBC News  online


Four years ago, when Karen Giuliano went to a Boston hospital for hip replacement surgery, she was given a pale-pink bucket of toiletries issued to patients in many hospitals. Inside were tissues, bar soap, deodorant, toothpaste, and, without a doubt, the worst toothbrush she’d ever seen. “I couldn’t believe it. I got a toothbrush with no bristles,” she said. “It must have not gone through the bristle machine. It was just a stick.”

view more

Experts Publish Call to Action to Prevent Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia

Pharmacy Times  


In addition to raising awareness, the white paper recommends educating patients, health care professionals, and students about prevention measures. These strategies can include standardized, therapeutic oral care for all patients, implementing surveillance strategies, and supporting research to develop new strategies for both surveillance and prevention. “The hidden harm from NVHAP in acute care is a significant patient safety issue,” Giuliano said in the press release. “NVHAP should be elevated to the same level of concern, attention, and effort as prevention of [ventilator-associated pneumonia] in hospitals.”

view more

Smiths Medical and Ivenix partner to revolutionize infusion management with first-ever comprehensive suite of infusion solutions in US healthcare market

ANTARA News  online


“As a researcher focused on large volume IV smart pumps, I am well aware of the many safety and usability issues that exist with current products,” said Karen K. Giuliano, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, MBA, an Associate Professor and Co-director of the Nursing-Engineering Center for Innovation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Innovation in IV smart pumps is long overdue, and I am happy to see new options for acute care clinicians to consider for the delivery of life-saving fluids and medications in this very important area of patient safety.”

view more

Select Publications (4)

Improving Bruise Detection in Patients with Dark Skin Tone

AJN, American Journal of Nursing


This is the fifth article in a series on nurse innovators, which focuses whenever possible on nurse–engineer partnerships and outlines working, replicable models of collaboration between the two disciplines. In this installment, we profile Katherine N. Scafide, a forensic nurse and researcher, who has partnered with engineers over many years to improve bruise detection in patients with dark skin tone.

view more

Comparative analysis of signal accuracy of three SpO2 monitors during motion and low perfusion conditions

Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing


To compare pulse oximetry performance during simulated conditions of motion and low perfusion in three commercially available devices: GE HealthCare CARESCAPE ONE TruSignal SpO 2 Parameter, Masimo RADICAL-7 and Medtronic Nellcor PM1000N. After IRB approval, 28 healthy adult volunteers were randomly assigned to the motion group (N= 14) or low perfusion (N= 14) group. Pulse oximeters were placed on the test and control hands using random assignment of digits 2–5. Each subject served as their own control through the series of repeated pair-wise measurements.

view more

Maintaining sleep while improving overnight mobility and comfort with a novel lower limb external mechanical compression system

Human Factors in Healthcare


Venous thromboembolism is prevalent, associated with a high degree of morbidity and mortality, and largely preventable. External mechanical compression is a standard of care for prevention, but compliance with traditional external mechanical compression devices is low due to patient reported issues with comfort, mobility, usability, noise, and sleep disturbances. The purpose of this study was to compare user-rated comfort, mobility, usability, noise, perceived sleep disturbance, and objective sleep disturbance for a novel external lower limb mechanical compression device as compared to a standard sequential compression device.

view more

Nurse–Engineer Partnerships in Academia

AJN The American Journal of Nursing


This is the fourth article in a series on nurse innovators, which focuses whenever possible on nurse–engineer partnerships and outlines working, replicable models of collaboration between the two disciplines. In this installment, we explore the work of four engineers who are forging a path to strengthen nurse–engineer partnerships through their work in academia. Their experiences exemplify the work of nurse–engineer teams, inform ways to employ these teams, and reveal the insights that result when these disciplines collaborate in real time to solve health care problems.

view more