Rochester, Minnesota




The research of Elizabeth B. Habermann, Ph.D., focuses on the quality and outcomes of surgical and perioperative care.

As the deputy director of research in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery and the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Scientific Director of the center's Surgical Outcomes Program, Dr. Habermann uses data from Mayo Clinic and national sources to study patient access to surgical care and surgical specialists, preoperative assessment and optimization, surgical safety and outcomes, including complications and survival, as well as postoperative care.

She has published research across a broad spectrum of surgical procedures, including complex cancer surgery as well as neurological, orthopedic, gynecological and urologic procedures, yet is always centered on improving patient care.

Focus areas

  • Optimizing opioid prescribing for patients after surgery. In recent years, Dr. Habermann has led collaborative work across a number of Mayo Clinic surgical specialties to assess the current state of opioid prescribing by Mayo Clinic providers, survey patients on their postoperative opioid consumption and related experiences, and use the resulting data as well as the scientific literature to develop and implement evidence-based, procedure-specific and patient-specific guidelines for surgical providers prescribing opioids at discharge.
  • Identifying opportunities to reduce surgical complications. Dr. Habermann and her team work to identify risk factors for surgical complications including surgical site infections, urinary tract infections, acute kidney injury, venous thromboembolism, and unplanned returns to the operating room or readmissions. The goal of this research is for surgical collaborators and colleagues to better understand where, when, how and for whom surgical care may be improved.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Habermann works closely with surgeons and other clinicians to develop and execute research to guide evidence-based interventions with the goal of improving patient care at Mayo Clinic and beyond. Her research aims to ensure that patients visiting Mayo Clinic for surgical care will have a safe, efficient and high-quality encounter accompanied by a positive patient experience.

Professional highlights

  • Division of Health Care Delivery Research, Mayo Clinic.
    • Chair, 2023-present.
    • Interim chair, 2022-2023.
  • Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Deputy Director of Research, Mayo Clinic, 2021-present.
  • Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Scientific Director for Surgical Outcomes Research, Mayo Clinic, 2014-2021.


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Health Care Policy & Research, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Surgery

Administrative Appointment

  1. Chair, Health Care Delivery Research, Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Health Services Research


  1. PhD - Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration Dissertation: “Cancer and the Medicare disabled.” University of Minnesota
  2. MPH - Public Health Administration and Policy Thesis: “The impact of a change in Medicare reimbursement policy and HEDIS measures on stage at diagnosis among Medicare HMO and fee-for-service female breast cancer patients.” University of Minnesota
  3. BS - Biology and Environmental Studies University of Wisconsin, Madison

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