P.J. (Perla) Marang-van de Mheen PhD

P.J. (Perla) Marang-van de Mheen PhD



Perla is Associate Professor Quality and Safety of Care, with a special focus on methodology to improve clinical practice. She is also senior methods editor at BMJ Quality & Safety, where she is passionate to use her broad expertise on epidemiological and statistical methods to improve rigor in patient safety and quality improvement work. She previously worked as Associate professor at the Leiden University Medical Centre (department of Medical Decision Making), and as Assistant Professor at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam (department of Social Medicine). She obtained her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Amsterdam, and is certified as Epidemiologist B since 1996.

Current projects

  • Aggregating insights from registries, big data, and clinical experience (Task leader): funded by the by the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme
  • Analysing and improving metabolic and bariatric surgery using audit data (Co-PI): internally funded by LUMC and University of Maastricht
  • Using radiostereometric analysis to predict aseptic loosening of prosthetic implants (Co-PI): funded by an investigator initiated grant to LUMC from Stryker B.V.
  • Decision making in shoulder surgery (Co-PI): internally funded by LUMC


Perla has a background in epidemiology and a broad interest in empirical study designs and methods from different fields. She has worked in both Public Health and hospital settings, and thereby acquired expertise in a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods from epidemiology, statistics and decision making, using both observational and experimental study designs.

She investigates how to measure, evaluate and improve the quality and safety of care, taking into account the sociotechnical and health system context. This involves developing new methodologies or interventions e.g. for earlier detection of safety problems or improving the effectiveness of feedback, guided by theory, user-centered design principles and the context in which they have to be applied. Once developed, she is interested in their implementation in real-world settings, trying to unravel the underlying mechanisms through which these may achieve their effect (or not) and testing the effectiveness to improve patient outcomes.

Her main applications are in the hospital setting, where she is interested in how new technologies (ranging from new implant designs to use of robotics or algorithms) are implemented and how the sociotechnical interactions and system context determine the impact on patient outcomes. These new technologies may change human behaviour and safety of care so that the technology does not achieve its potential, or their effect may be inhibited by the health system in which they are introduced. Understanding these interactions is therefore crucial to interpret safety signals and increase our knowledge how new technologies can be introduced safely and will improve patient care. She is also particularly interested in leveraging technology to ensure sustainable healthcare.

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