UCSF's Pelter Named 2024 Distinguished Research Lecturer

Apr 09, 2024

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Michele Pelter, director of UCSF's ECG Monitoring Research Lab, has built an international reputation for research that has improved cardiac monitoring and clinical practice and influenced the development of monitoring technology.

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has named Michele Pelter, PhD, RN, FAHA, as its 2024 Distinguished Research Lecturer.

Pelter is a nurse scientist with a specific interest in hospital-based electrocardiographic (ECG) and physiologic monitoring, focusing on increasing the accuracy of ECG detection of arrhythmias and transient myocardial ischemia (TMI), as well as understanding how false and nonactionable alerts contribute to alarm fatigue in nurses. Her work has contributed to improving patient care, the nursing work environment, and the design and performance of commercially available ECG devices.

She is an associate professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing and director of its ECG Monitoring Research Lab, which has built an international reputation for research that has improved cardiac monitoring and clinical practice and influenced the development of monitoring technology.

As the Distinguished Research Lecturer, Pelter will discuss her career and research journey during AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI). AACN’s 50th annual conference, NTI 2024 will be held in person May 20-22 in Denver with a virtual event June 12-14. The American Journal of Critical Care will publish an abstract of her NTI presentation in its May 2024 issue, followed by a complete manuscript in July 2024.

Pelter began her nursing career with an associate’s degree from Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno, Nevada, followed by a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. With a desire to pursue her passion in electrocardiology, she attended graduate school at UCSF, where she studied with Barbara Drew, PhD, RN, FAAN, the lab’s founder and former director, who received this award in 2002.

After earning her master’s and doctoral degree from UCSF, Pelter returned to Reno to begin her independent research career. Drew recruited her former mentee back to UCSF in 2015 to assume leadership of the lab and join the school’s newly funded multidisciplinary Center for Physiologic Research.

Over the past 10 years, the research lab has collected ECG and physiologic data from more than 5,300 patients, which has been compiled into a first-of-its-kind human-annotated database, mixing the clinical expertise of nurses with biomedical engineers. The database was used to test a new ventricular tachycardia algorithm that has the potential to drive research in this field for years to come.

Beyond monitoring and alarm fatigue, Pelter has designed studies that use ECG waveforms to identify respirations and sleep disordered breathing. This work has laid the groundwork for examining the utility of ECG monitoring beyond simply assessing for heart rhythm.

Her work has been published and presented broadly, including more than 90 peer-reviewed data-based papers, over 125 non-data-based papers, eight book chapters and more than 110 presentations at national and international meetings.

Since 2001, she has co-authored more than 120 “ECG Puzzler” features in American Journal of Critical Care, which have become a favorite among the journal’s 130,000 readers, and the column is highly regarded for its clinical relevance to improving patient care.

She is a fellow of the American Heart Association’s Council for Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing and a board member of the International Society of Computerized Electrocardiology. In addition to her 30-year membership in AACN, she is a member of Sigma, the international honor society of nurses, as well as the Society for Critical Care Medicine.

About AACN’s Distinguished Research Lectureship: AACN established the Distinguished Research Lectureship in 1982 to honor nationally known nurses who make significant contributions to progressive and critical care research. The annual award recognizes research that impacts patient outcomes and advances nursing education and practice. Recipients present their award-winning research at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition and receive a $2,500 honorarium.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: For more than 50 years, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has been dedicated to acute and critical care nursing excellence. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. AACN is the world’s largest specialty nursing organization, with about 130,000 members and nearly 200 chapters in the United States.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 27071 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; 949-362-2000; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; x.com/aacnme