Carol M. Ashton

Carol M. Ashton, MD, MPH

Emeritus Professor of Surgery, Academic Institute
Full Emeritus Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


Dr. Carol Ashton joined Houston Methodist Hospital in 2008. Prior to that time, she held faculty positions at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Veterans Health Administration Research and Development Service, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. While at Baylor, she helped establish a highly productive center of excellence in health services research and served as its director from 1998 to 2006. This center was funded by the Veterans Health Administration.

In 2004, Dr. Ashton received the VA Under-Secretary for Health’s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Health Services Research. She has served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Medical Care, one of the nation’s top-tier health services research journals, and has served on numerous federal and nonfederal grant application review panels. Along with co-author Nelda P. Wray, Dr. Ashton has recently completed a book titled “Comparative Effectiveness Research: Evidence, Policy, and Interests,” published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

Description of Research

Dr. Ashton studies health services research. She has an extensive record of scholarship in the field related to topics such as access to care, assessment of patterns and outcomes of care, and comparative effectiveness in evaluation of new technologies and procedures.

Areas Of Expertise

Clinical outcomes improvement Diffusion of surgical innovations Ethics and methods of clinical trials evaluating surgical procedures
Education & Training

Visiting Research Fellowship, Center for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Visiting Research Fellowship, Center for Health and Social Policy, LBJ School of Public Policy, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
MPH, The University of Texas School of Public Health
Visiting Research Fellowship, University of Oxford

Effect of Chlorhexidine Bathing Every Other Day on Prevention of Hospital-Acquired Infections in the Surgical ICU: A Single-Center, Randomized Controlled Trial
Swan, JT, Ashton, CM, Bui, LN, Pham, VP, Shirkey, BA, Blackshear, JE, Bersamin, JB, Pomer, RML, Johnson, ML, Magtoto, AD, Butler, MO, Tran, SK, Sanchez, LR, Patel, JG, Ochoa, RA, Hai, SA, Denison, KI, Graviss, EA & Wray, NP 2016, , Critical Care Medicine, vol. 44, no. 10, pp. 1822-1832.

Optimizing evaluation of patients with low-to-intermediate-risk acute chest pain: A randomized study comparing stress myocardial perfusion tomography incorporating stress-only imaging versus cardiac CT
Nabi, F, Kassi, M, Muhyieddeen, K, Chang, SM, Xu, J, Peterson, L, Wray, N, Shirkey, B, Ashton, C & Mahmarian, J 2016, , Journal of Nuclear Medicine, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 378-384.

The sepsis early recognition and response initiative (SERRI)
Jones, SL, Ashton, CM, Kiehne, L, Gigliotti, E, Bell-Gordon, C, Pinn, TT, Tran, SK, Nicolas, JC, Rose, AL, Shirkey, BA, Disbot, M, Masud, F & Wray, NP 2016, , Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 122-131.

Surgeon-Specific Reports in General Surgery: Establishing Benchmarks for Peer Comparison Within a Single Hospital
Hatfield, MD, Ashton, CM, Bass, BL & Shirkey, BA 2016, , Journal of the American College of Surgeons, vol. 222, no. 2, pp. 113-121.

Outcomes and resource use of sepsis-associated stays by presence on admission, severity, and hospital type
Jones, SL, Ashton, CM, Kiehne, LB, Nicolas, JC, Rose, AL, Shirkey, BA, Masud, F & Wray, NP 2016, , Medical Care, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 303-310.

Reductions in Sepsis Mortality and Costs After Design and Implementation of a Nurse-Based Early Recognition and Response Program
Jones, SL, Ashton, CM, Kiehne, L, Gigliotti, E, Bell-Gordon, C, Disbot, M, Masud, F, Shirkey, BA & Wray, NP 2015, , Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety / Joint Commission Resources, vol. 41, no. 11, pp. 483-491.

Systematic review of observational studies reveals no association between low back pain and lumbar spondylolysis with or without isthmic spondylolisthesis
Andrade, NS, Ashton, CM, Wray, NP, Brown, C & Bartanusz, V 2015, , European Spine Journal, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 1289-1295.

The role of the USA food and drug administration in clinical research
Glasser, SP, Ashton, CM & Wray, NP 2014, . in Essentials of Clinical Research, Second Edition. Springer International Publishing, pp. 117-143.

Surgeon-specific performance reports in general surgery: An observational study of initial implementation and adoption
Yi, SG, Wray, NP, Jones, SL, Bass, BL, Nishioka, J, Brann, S & Ashton, CM 2013, , Journal of the American College of Surgeons, vol. 217, no. 4, pp. 636-647.e1.

Brody, B, Wray, N & Ashton, C 2013, , Journal of the American College of Surgeons, vol. 217, no. 1, pp. 172.

Are surgical trials with negative results being interpreted correctly?
Brody, BA, Ashton, CM, Liu, D, Xiong, Y, Yao, X & Wray, NP 2013, , Journal of the American College of Surgeons, vol. 216, no. 1, pp. 158-166.

Do surgical trials meet the scientific standards for clinical trials?
Wenner, DM, Brody, BA, Jarman, AF, Kolman, JM, Wray, NP & Ashton, CM 2012, , Journal of the American College of Surgeons, vol. 215, no. 5, pp. 722-730.

Trials and tribulations: The professional development of surgical trialists
Jarman, AF, Wray, NP, Wenner, DM & Ashton, CM 2012, , American Journal of Surgery, vol. 204, no. 3, pp. 339-346.e5.

Conflicts among Multinational Ethical and Scientific Standards for Clinical Trials of Therapeutic Interventions
Kolman, JM, Wray, NP, Ashton, CM, Wenner, DM, Jarman, AF & Brody, BA 2012, , Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 99-121.

Comparative effectiveness of individual angiotensin receptor blockers on risk of mortality in patients with chronic heart failure
Desai, RJ, Ashton, CM, Deswal, A, Morgan, RO, Mehta, HB, Chen, H, Aparasu, RR & Johnson, ML 2012, , Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 233-240.

A taxonomy of multinational ethical and methodological standards for clinical trials of therapeutic interventions
Ashton, CM, Wray, N, Jarman, AF, Kolman, JM, Wenner, DM & Brody, BA 2011, , Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 368-373.

A patient self-assessment tool to measure communication behaviors during doctor visits about hypertension
Ashton, CM, Holt, CL & Wray, NP 2010, , Patient Education and Counseling, vol. 81, no. 2, pp. 275-314.

A stories-based interactive DVD intended to help people with hypertension achieve blood pressure control through improved communication with their doctors
Ashton, CM, Houston, TK, Williams, JH, Larkin, D, Trobaugh, J, Crenshaw, K & Wray, NP 2010, , Patient Education and Counseling, vol. 79, no. 2, pp. 245-250.

Ethics and methods in surgical trials
Ashton, CM, Wray, NP, Jarman, AF, Kolman, JM, Wenner, DM & Brody, BA 2009, , Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 579-583.

An interview with Ronald Andersen, PhD
Ashton, CM 2008, , Medical Care, vol. 46, no. 7, pp. 645-646.