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Voices for Safer Care

Insights from the Armstrong Institute

Voices for Safer Care Home Contributors About Peter Pronovost

About Peter Pronovost

Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., FCCM
Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., FCCM

Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Armstrong Institute, as well as senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine. One of the world’s leading authorities on patient safety, he has demonstrated that we can prevent harm and improve clinical outcomes by approaching health care delivery as a science, on the same level as discovering a new drug therapy.

A critical care physician, Pronovost is perhaps best known for developing a simple, evidence-based checklist for reducing bloodstream infections associated with central catheters. This checklist, when combined with an intervention to improve patient safety culture, virtually eliminated these infections across intensive care units in the state of Michigan, saving 1,500 lives and $100 million annually. The New Yorker magazine wrote that Pronovost’s “work has already saved more lives than that of any laboratory scientist in the past decade.”

A consistent theme in Pronovost’s career is the importance of collaborating across job titles, disciplines and industries — and with patients themselves — to advance the science of improving patient safety. His programs foster cultures in which nurses speak up to physicians with their concerns, or support staff remind clinicians to wash their hands. Under his leadership, the institute convened experts from 18 disciplines to redesign ICU care. Pronovost has adapted risk-mitigation strategies used by other industries, such as nuclear power and aviation, to help improve health care.

The recipient of several national and international awards, Pronovost frequently speaks before Congress on the importance of patient safety.

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Read Pronovost’s full profile.