Jack Needleman

Jack Needleman

Professor of Health Policy and Management and Public Policy


Ph.D. in Public Policy, Harvard University

Areas of Interest:


(310) 825-3317



Office Location:

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health 31-269C CHS

Jack Needleman, PhD, FAAN, is a Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Associate Director of the UCLA Patient Safety Institute. He teaches courses in health policy analysis and American political institutions and health policy in the master’s programs and research design and research methods to doctoral and MS students, and has previously taught program and policy evaluation. He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Dr. Needleman’s research focuses on the impact of changing markets and public policy on quality and access to care, and health care provider and insurer responses to market and regulatory incentives. For the past decade, Dr. Needleman’s research has focused on studies of quality and staffing in hospitals and on the evaluation and design of performance improvement activities.  Three of Dr. Needleman’s first authored publications on quality of care and nurse staffing are designated patient safety classics by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Quality measures he developed have been adopted by AHRQ, Medicare, Joint Commission, and National Quality Forum and his expertise developing, testing and refining quality measures has been tapped by these and other organizations. He was lead evaluator for the Robert Wood Johnson initiative Transforming Care at the Bedside and serves on the Steering Council for the NIH-funded Improvement Science Research Network.

Dr. Needleman’s research extends beyond nursing. He has directed projects on a wide range of topics, including studies of for-profit and nonprofit hospitals, the impact of community health centers on hospitalizations for ambulatory care sensitive conditions, and changes in access to inpatient care for psychiatric conditions and substance abuse. He has had a Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award to study the future of public hospitals. He studied Canadian provisional systems for paying and regulating hospitals, physicians and supplemental health insurers, and regulating new technology. Prior to coming to UCLA in 2003, Dr. Needleman was on the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health and before that was Vice President and Co-Director of the Public Policy Practice at Lewin/ICF, a Washington health policy research and consulting firm. While at Lewin/ICF, he conducted studies and served as a consultant to numerous state and federal task forces examining health care costs and access to care, and evaluated or helped design payment systems for hospitals, physicians and nursing homes.

Dr. Needleman’s research on the impact of nurse staffing and nurses’ working conditions on patient outcomes in hospitals and the business case for increasing nurse staffing received the first AcademyHealth Health Services Research Impact Award. In 2007, he was inducted as an honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.  He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine.


PhD, Harvard University

Selected Publications: 

Needleman, Jack, Peter I. Buerhaus, Catherine Vanderboom and Marcelline Harris. “Using Present-on-Admission Coding to Improve Exclusion Rules for Quality Metrics: The Case of Failure-to-Rescue.”  Medical Care. 2013; 51(8):722-30. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e31829808de

Needleman, Jack. “Assessing Low Mortality in Magnet Hospitals.” Medical Care. 2013; 51(5): 379-81.

Wyte-Lake, Tamar, Kim Tran, Candice C. Bowman, Jack Needleman and Aram Dobalian. “A Systematic Review of Strategies to Address the Clinical Nursing Faculty Shortage.” Journal of Nursing Education. 2013; 52(5):245-252.

Needleman, Jack, Peter Buerhaus, V. Shane Pankratz, Cynthia L. Leibson, Susanna R. Stevens and Marcelline Harris.  “Nurse Staffing and Inpatient Hospital Mortality.” New England Journal of Medicine. 2011; 364(11):1037-45 [AHRQ Designated Patient Safety Classic]

Yee, Tracy, Jack Needleman, Marjorie Pearson, and Patricia Parkerton. “Nurse manager perceptions of the impact of process improvements by nurses.” Journal of Nursing Care Quality 2011; 26 (3):226-35.

Needleman, Jack, and Ann F. Minnick. “Response to Commentary: What Conclusions Can We Draw from Recent Analyses of Anesthesia Provider Model and Patient Outcomes?” Health Services Research 2010; 45 (5):1397-1406.

Needleman, Jack, Patricia H. Parkerton, Marjorie L. Pearson, Lynn M. Soban, Valda V. Upenieks and Tracy Yee. “Impacts on the Learning Community Hospitals of Transforming Care at the Bedside.” American Journal of Nursing 2009; 109(11 Suppl):59-65.

Needleman, Jack. “Is What’s Good for the Patient Good for the Hospital? Aligning Incentives and the Business Case for Nursing.” Journal of Politics, Policy and Nursing Care 2008;  9(2):80-7

Needleman, Jack, Ellen T. Kurtzman, and Kenneth W. Kizer. “Performance Measurement of Nursing Care: State of the Science and the Current Consensus.” Medical Care Research and Review 64, no. 2S (2007): 10S-43S.

Needleman, Jack, Peter I. Buerhaus, Maureen Stewart, Katya Zelevinsky, and Soeren Mattke. “Nurse Staffing in Hospitals: Is There a Business Case for Quality?” Health Affairs 25, no. 1 (2006): 204-11. [AHRQ Designated Patient Safety Classic]

Berney, Barbara, and Jack Needleman. “Impact of Nursing Overtime on Nurse Sensitive Patient Outcomes in New York Hospitals, 1995-2000.” Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice 7, no. 2 (2006): 87-100.

Falik, Marilyn, Jack Needleman, Robert Herbert, Barbara Wells, Robert Politzer, and M. Beth Benedict. “Comparative Effectiveness of Health Centers as Regular Source of Care: Application of Sentinel Acsc Events as Performance Measures.” Journal of Ambulatory Care Management 29, no. 1 (2006): 24-35.

Bazzoli, Gloria J., Richard C. Lindrooth, Romana Hasnain-Wynia, and Jack Needleman. “The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and U.S. Hospital Operations.” Inquiry 41, no. 4 (2004): 401-17.

Needleman, Jack, Peter Buerhaus, Soeren Mattke, Maureen Stewart and Katya Zelevinsky, “Measuring Hospital Quality: Can Medicare Data Substitute for All Payer Data?.” Health Services Research 2003; 38(6):1487-1508.

Buerhaus, Peter and Jack Needleman, Soeren Mattke and Maureen Stewart, “Strengthening Hospital Nursing.” Health Affairs 2002; 21(5):123-132.

Needleman, Jack, Peter Buerhaus, Soeren Mattke, Maureen Stewart and Katya Zelevinsky, “Nurse-Staffing Levels and the Quality of Care in Hospitals,” New England Journal of Medicine 2002; 346(22): 1715-1722. Abstracted in The Yearbook of Anesthesiology and Pain Management 2003. [AHRQ Designated Patient Safety Classic]

Needleman, Jack, “The Role of Nonprofits in Health Care,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2001; 26(5):1043-1060.

Marilyn Falik, Jack Needleman, Barbara L.Wells, and Jodi Korb, “Ambulatory Care Sensitive Hospitalizations and Emergency Visits: Experiences of Medicaid Patients Using Federally Qualified Health Centers,” Medical Care 2001; 39(6):551-561.

Needleman, Jack, JoAnn Lamphere and Deborah Chollet, “Uncompensated Care and Hospital Conversions in Florida,” Health Affairs 1999; 18(4):125-133.

Needleman, Jack, “Nonprofit to For-Profit Conversions by Hospitals, Health Insurers, and Health Plans,” Public Health Reports 1999; 114(2):108-119.

Needleman, Jack, Chollet, Deborah J., and Lamphere, JoAnn, “Conversions of Public and Not-for-Profit Hospitals to For-Profit Status,” Health Affairs, 1997; 16(2):187-195.

Needleman, Jack, “Sources and Policy Implications of Uncertainty in Risk Assessment.” Statistical Science: A Review Journal of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics 1988; 3:328-338.

Bailar, John C., III, Jack Needleman, Barbara Berney and J. Michael McGuiness, editors, Assessing Risks to Health: Methodological Approaches. Westport, CT: Auburn House, 1993.