Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
A pioneer in patient safety and quality scholarship, Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, has saved thousands of lives across the country through his work in developing successful medical interventions that advance a culture of no harm in medicine.
For example, there was a time when centralline–associated infections killed as many people in the United States as breast or prostate cancer. Inspired by the loss of an 18-month-old patient early in his career, Dr. Pronovost developed an intervention that eliminated bloodstream infections in one intensive care unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. His success led to the adoption of the intervention across the country, resulting in an 80% reduction in infection rates since 1999. Victor Dzau, MD, president of the National Academy of Medicine, termed this success “a watershed moment for U.S. health care.”
Dr. Pronovost’s incredible work to improve safety standards for patients nationwide also includes research on safe staffing levels for intensive care units, partnering with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to combat Ebola, and ongoing efforts with the National Academy of Medicine to establish a national model for health care quality reporting.
“A key to the success of Peter’s work is his ability to start with the goal and work backwards, drawing upon diverse disciplines to create integrated conceptual frameworks that work synergistically to deliver significant improvements,” explains Michael Klag, MD, MPH, dean of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Looking to the principles of high-reliability organizations in fields such as aviation, Dr. Pronovost has combined interdisciplinary theories to advance patient safety and transform the scholarly field of improvement science. He has published more than 800 peer-reviewed articles and founded and directs the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins, which boasts 140 faculty members involved in safety and quality research in more than 20 countries. Dr. Pronovost also developed a state-of-the-art patient safety course for Johns Hopkins medical students and provides mentorship in service to the next generation of health care providers and a culture of no harm in medicine.
He has been recognized as a MacArthur Fellow, named by Time magazine as one the 100 most influential people in the world, and recognized as a Gilman Scholar, which designates Hopkins’ best researchers.
Dr. Pronovost received his bachelor of science degree from Fairfield University, his MD from Johns Hopkins University, and his PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. He completed his residency and fellowship in anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital.