Department of Emergency Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine Leadership & Faculty

Raina M Merchant, MD MSHP FAHA

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Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Director, Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Director, Social Media and Policy, Center for Emergency Care and Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Emergency Medicine
Co-Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania
Associate Vice President, University of Pennsylvania Health System
Director, Center for Digital Health
Department: Emergency Medicine

Contact information
PCAM, 3400 Civic Center Blvd, 14th floor, Innovation Suite
Philadelphia, PA 19104
BA (Psychobiology)
Yale University, 1998.
University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, 2003.
MS (Master of Science in Health Policy Research)
University of Pennsylvania, 2009.
Post-Graduate Training
Resident in Emergency Medicine , University of Chicago , 2003-2007.
Chief Resident, Emergency Medicine, University of Chicago, 2006-2007.
Philips Resuscitation Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2006-2007.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, 2007-2010.
Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine , 2007-present.
Fellow, Center for Resuscitation Science, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine , 2007-2010.
Board certified, American Board of Emergency Medicine, 2009.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Merchant is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care. She is a Co-Director of the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania and the Director of the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab ( Her research interest is in diffusion of innovation, social media, public health, and resuscitation science. Her work involves development and testing of health related mobile apps and she has conducted several projects evaluating health communication on social/mobile media sites like Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Gigwalk, and others. She additionally runs a Twitter lab which analyzes tweets related to resuscitation, critical care, and public health/policy. Much of her work bridges new technologies in the field of cardiovascular health. In this context, she is the Director of the MyHeartMap Challenge, ( a social media and crowdsourcing project aimed at improving AED access and awareness by engaging the public to serve as citizen scientist. Dr. Merchant was recently recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of 10 young investigators likely to have a significant impact on the future of health and healthcare in the US.

Selected Publications

Grande D, Meisel Z, Merchant RM, Seymour J, Gollust S : Twitter accounts followed by Congressional Health Staff. American Journal of Managed Care Aug 2017 Notes: (accepted).

Elrod JB, Merchant RM, Daya M, Youngquist S, Salcido D, Valenzuela T, Nichol G.: Public health surveillance of automated external defibrillators in the USA: protocol for the dynamic automated external defibrillator registry study. BMJ Open 7(3): e014902, Mar 2017.

Sinnenberg L, Mancheno C, Buttenheim A, Padrez K, Ungar L, Merchant RM: Twitter as a tool for health research: a systematic review. American Journal of Public Health 107(1): 143, Jan 2017.

Wong CA, Bain A, Polsky D, Merchant RM, Antwi YA, Slap G, Rubin DM, Ford CA : The Use and Out-of-Pocket Cost of Urgent Care and Retail-Based Clinics Visits by Adolescents and Young Adults Compared to Children. Journal of Adolescent Health 60(1): 107-112, Jan 2017.

Callaway CW, Kern KB, Merchant RM, Neumar RW: Balancing the benefits and risks of CPR. The American Journal of Bioethics 17(2): 1, Jan 2017.

Smith RJ, Crutchley P, Schwartz HA, Ungar LH, Shofer F, Padrez KA Merchant RM: Variations in Facebook posting patterns across validated patient health conditions: A prospective cohort study. Journal of Medical Internet Research 19(1): e7, Jan 2017.

Gaieski DF, Agarwal AK, Abella BS, Neumar RW, Mechem C, Wallace S, Shofer FS, Becker LB, Carr B, Merchant RM, Band R: Adult Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Philadelphia from 2008-2012: An Epidemiological Study. Resuscitation 2017 Notes: (accepted in press).

Merchant RM, Volpp K, Asch DA: Learning by listening—Improving Health Care in the Era of Yelp. Journal of the American Medical Association 316(23): 2483-2484, Dec 2016.

Chrisinger BW, Grossestreuer AV, Laguna MC, Griffis HM, Branas CC, Wiebe DJ, Merchant RM: Characteristics of automatic external defibrillator coverage in Philadelphia, PA, based on land use and estimated risk. Resuscitation 109: 9-15, Oct 2016.

Sinnenberg LE, DiSilvestro CL, Mancheno C, Daily K, Tufts C, Buttenheim AM, Barg F, Ungar L, Schwartz HA, Brown D, Asch DA, Merchant RM: Twitter as a potential data source for cardiovascular disease research. Journal of the American Medical Association: Cardiology 1(9): 1032-1036, Sep 2016.

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Last updated: 04/14/2017
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