Doctoral Student

Hummy Song

Hummy Song is a PhD candidate in Health Policy Management at Harvard University. Her research lies at the interface between operations management and health services research. Broadly, she is interested in identifying ways to enable service and knowledge workers to increase their levels of productivity. In particular, she focuses on using data to design systems and policies that may enable health care providers to work more efficiently without sacrificing quality.

Hummy Song is a PhD candidate in Health Policy Management at Harvard University. Her research lies at the interface between operations management and health services research. Broadly, she is interested in identifying ways to enable service and knowledge workers to increase their levels of productivity. In particular, she focuses on using data to design systems and policies that may enable health care providers to work more efficiently without sacrificing quality.

Through her research, Hummy illustrates that physicians’ behavioral responses to operational choices have a significant impact on their productivity and performance. In the context of emergency departments, her research finds that publicly disclosing relative performance feedback may help improve productivity by reducing the significant variability that exists in physicians’ workflows and processes. In addition, she finds that dedicated queuing systems equip emergency department physicians with an increased sense of ownership that leads to improvements in flow management and productivity that are large enough to outweigh the variability-buffering benefits of pooled queuing systems. At the hospital level, her research finds that physicians respond to cohort turnover in predictable ways that can be proactively managed to mitigate the negative effects of turnover on hospital productivity.

Hummy’s research primarily utilizes large datasets derived from electronic health record systems, hospital inpatient databases, and surveys of the health care workforce. For her research, Hummy has worked with hospitals and health care organizations both in the U.S. and in developing countries.

Hummy’s research has been recognized as the winner of the AcademyHealth Organizational Behavior and Management Division Best Abstract Award, a finalist for the INFORMS Health Application Society Student Paper Competition, and a finalist for the POMS College of Healthcare Operations Management Best Paper Competition. During her time as a PhD student, she has also won the Joan P. Curhan Citizenship Award and the Derek Bok Center Certification of Distinction in Teaching.

Hummy received an AB from Harvard College and an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Prior to her PhD studies, she worked with international health organizations conducting randomized control trials and observational studies. She has also worked as a policy analyst at The Century Foundation and with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids on policy development and implementation.

  1. Finalist in the 2015 INFORMS Health Application Society Student Paper Competition, for “The Diseconomies of Queue Pooling: An Empirical Investigation of Emergency Department Length of Stay” with Anita L. Tucker and Karen L. Murrell.

  2. Finalist in the 2015 POMS College of Healthcare Operations Management Best Paper Competition, for “Cohort Turnover and Productivity: The July Phenomenon in Teaching Hospitals” with Robert S. Huckman and Jason R. Barro.

  3. Awarded the Joan P. Curhan Citizenship Award for significant contributions to the collegiality and team spirit among students and faculty in the Harvard PhD program in Health Policy, 2015.

  4. Awarded the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Harvard University Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning in 2010, 2013, and 2014.

  5. Won the 2008 Thomas T. Hoopes Prize which is awarded to Harvard undergraduates on the basis of outstanding scholarly work or research.