Mahshid Abir

Photo of Mahshid Abir
Senior Physician Policy Researcher
Off Site Office

Education

M.D. in medicine with intern, University of Cincinnati; M.Sc. in health and health services research, University of Michigan, RWJF Clinical Scholars Program

Overview

Mahshid Abir is a senior physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. She is also an emergency physician and director of the Acute Care Research Unit (ACRU) at the University of Michigan. Her research evaluates the continuum of acute care delivery in the United States, including pre-hospital, emergency, inpatient, and ambulatory care, with a focus on addressing policy-related issues pertaining to utilization, quality, efficiency, outcomes, and costs of acute care delivery in these settings.  Abir's past work includes developing measures for hospital and health care coalition surge capacity funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.  She has also evaluated health care system and patient-centered outcomes as part of health care system redesign initiatives. She has expertise in various health services research methods, including mixed quantitative – qualitative methods and community-/stakeholder-based participatory research. Abir received her M.D. from the University of Cincinnati.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan; Director, Acute Care Research Unit, University of Michigan

Commentary

  • A health care worker in protective equipment enters the Brooklyn Hospital Center during the COVID-19 outbreak in Brooklyn, New York, March 31, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Amidst a Pandemic, a Mental Health Crisis May Be Looming

    The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care workers' mental health could be significant and could weaken the U.S. health care system's ability to resolve the current crisis and survive over the long term. Interventions to promote psychological well-being should be implemented now.

    Apr 1, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • A worker checks part of a delivery of hospital beds to The Mount Sinai Hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak, New York City, March 31, 2020, photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters

    Implement Critical Care Surge Strategies Now to Save Lives

    As COVID-19 continues to spread, hospitals are bracing for a surge of patients requiring critical care. To meet the demand, U.S. health care facilities may need to fundamentally change the way they allocate space, staff, and equipment.

    Apr 1, 2020 Health Affairs Blog

  • Nurses Becky Barton and Jess White help nurse Jeff Gates take off protective gear after interacting with a patient at a drive-through testing site for coronavirus, flu and RSV, currently by appointment for employees at UW Medical Center Northwest in Seattle, Washington, March 9, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    COVID-19: A Stress Test for a U.S. Health Care System Already Under Stress

    There are many things hospitals and health systems could be doing in the coming weeks to best prepare for the advancing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Evaluating their surge response plans will be critical.

    Mar 12, 2020 Health Affairs Blog

  • Volunteers in protective suits disinfect a railway station as China tries to contain an outbreak of coronavirus, Changsha, Hunan province, February 4, 2020, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Coronavirus Outbreak Intensifies: Q&A with RAND Experts

    Cases of the coronavirus have now spread to several dozens of countries, infecting thousands and thousands of people across the globe. With concerns about the disease rising, we asked a group of RAND researchers to answer a wide range of questions about the crisis.

    Mar 5, 2020

  • Boy using breathing treatment, photo by mixetto/Getty Images

    At the Interface of the Health Care System and the Community: Insights from an Academic-Community Partnership in Camden, New Jersey

    Asthma is a common and expensive childhood condition that erodes quality of life for kids and families. Researchers sought to identify patient-centered interventions to reduce avoidable asthma-related acute care use and improve outcomes. They found that the solutions lie at the nexus of the health care system and the community.

    Dec 3, 2019 The RAND Blog

  • A guest looks at the Temple of Time, a structure built to serve as a healing place for those affected by the shooting which claimed 17 lives at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Coral Springs, Florida, February 14, 2019, photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

    After School Shootings, Children and Communities Struggle to Heal

    School shootings leave wounds that affect students, school staff, families, and communities for years. Building community resilience, implementing evidence-based mental health support early, and providing access for survivors and the community immediately and in the long term could help promote healing and prevent more tragedy.

    Jul 19, 2019 Health Affairs Blog

  • Nurses discussing patient records

    On Nurse Staffing Ballot Measure, Massachusetts Voters Should Look to Evidence from California

    Massachusetts residents will soon vote on the Patient Safety Act, a mandate to increase nurse-to-patient ratios in acute care facilities. Evaluating existing data on the impact of a similar nurse staffing law implemented in California in 2004 may help inform voters as they head to the polls.

    Nov 2, 2018 Health Affairs Blog

  • Residents wade through flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Beaumont Place, Houston, Texas, August 28, 2017

    Anticipating Harvey's Toll on Health and Health Care

    After Hurricane Harvey, challenges to the health of affected communities and the health care systems that serve them are expected to grow. Among the problems are closures of hospitals, pharmacies, and dialysis centers. Lessons from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy could help relief efforts.

    Sep 5, 2017 U.S. News & World Report

  • Ambulances line the street after explosions interrupted the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013

    Lessons for First Responders on the Front Lines of Terrorism

    Given the persistent risk of terrorist attacks, it is critical to learn from past incidents to prepare for future ones. Medical and nonmedical first responders need more training in basic lifesaving skills. Open communication lines such as a dedicated radio frequency could help responders better coordinate. Disaster drills are also essential.

    Jul 10, 2017 The Conversation

  • A woman sick in bed calling her doctor

    Need a Doctor Now? Solve the Acute Care Crisis

    Many Americans struggle to receive acute care when they need it. The health care system is not focused on meeting unscheduled needs. Reforming acute care delivery will require making it a policy and research priority.

    Nov 17, 2016 The Hill

  • Volunteers distribute bottled water to help combat the effects of the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan, March 5, 2016

    Community Resilience Is Key in the Aftermath of Flint's Lead Water Crisis

    For Flint to recover from this latest disaster, it will be critical for the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to invest in and implement strategies to build on existing community resilience and strengthen Flint's ability to bounce back.

    Mar 9, 2016 U.S. News & World Report

  • Paramedics pushing a patient on a gurney into a hospital

    Saving Lives After Tragedy

    Natural and man-made mass-casualty incidents are a growing threat. Evaluating successes and shortcomings after each crisis can contribute to the design and implementation of robust and resilient response systems and ensure the best possible outcomes for individuals and impacted communities.

    Dec 14, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • Nepalese military personnel and international rescue crews check on a collapsed building after the earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 12, 2015

    Another Nepal Earthquake Makes Disaster Relief Planning Even More Important

    Leadership, coordination, communication, and involvement of local stakeholders are critical in order to mount an informed response to natural disasters. Improved disaster management in Nepal could help limit the suffering of impacted communities and help secure a more successful recovery in the long run.

    May 13, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • Participants practice a medical procedure on a dummy arm during training for the Ebola response team at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, October 24, 2014

    Ebola Shows America Needs Better Disaster Preparedness

    Crafting an effective, whole-community strategy to respond to Ebola could stop the spread of the disease now and lay groundwork for responses to future outbreaks and other emergencies. In the long run, this could make public preparedness and resilience valuable assets for the U.S.

    Nov 7, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • Volunteers from the North Carolina Southern Baptists help clean out some apartments that were flooded during Hurricane Sandy

    One Year Later: Hurricane Sandy's Lessons in Resilience and Recovery

    The recovery from Sandy shows once again that how well communities bounce back from disasters depends not just on how they react after a crisis, but on how resilient they have made themselves beforehand. Building community resilience should be part and parcel of disaster preparedness.

    Nov 15, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • Moore, Okla. resident looking through remains of her house that was detroyed by the tornado

    Moore Must Be Ready for Psychological Aftermath

    Ensuring the availability of needed mental health resources was critical in the immediate aftermath and recovery phase of the 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado. Authorities in Oklahoma must ensure that such services are in place early so that Moore's residents can begin the long journey to recovery.

    May 31, 2013 CNN

  • Moore,Oklahoma,Oklahoma tornado,U.S. Air Force,assistance

    From Boston to Oklahoma—Lessons for the Regional Trauma Response System

    Three mass-casualty events occurring in three very different settings show that disaster preparedness should not be limited to large cities or “target” areas in the United States. One trait that is common to all such events is the need for coordinated, responsive trauma care for victims.

    May 23, 2013 The Health Care Blog

  • Damage sustained by St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., after the May 22, 2011 EF-5 tornado

    Medical Records Immune to Tornado in Joplin, Mo.

    Across the country, electronic medical records, designed first and foremost to make health care delivery safer and more efficient, are proving valuable when disaster strikes, write Mahshid Abir and Art Kellermann.

    May 23, 2012 USA Today

Publications