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Sean M. Berenholtz, MD, MHS, FCCM

Sean M. Berenholtz, MD, MHS, FCCM

Departments of Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine and Surgery

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
600  North Wolfe Street, Halsted 842
Baltimore, MD  21287-5842
Phone: 410-955-9080
Fax: 410-614-1776
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Dr Berenholtz is a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician, a patient safety researcher, and a leader. He is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Surgery in the School of Medicine, and in Health Policy and Management in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. Dr Berenholtz is the Physician Director of Inpatient Quality and Safety for the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. He holds a master’s degree in clinical investigation from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr Berenholtz has published more than 80 articles and chapters in the fields of patient safety, intensive care unit (ICU) care, quality health care, and evidence-based medicine. He has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on more than a dozen grants or contracts to develop, implement, and evaluate patient safety improvement efforts. Two of his successful projects include the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded Keystone ICU project, which improved teamwork and communication and reduced hospital-acquired infections in more than 100 Michigan ICUs, and the National On The Cusp: Stop BSI project, which has been implemented in 47 states with the goal of eliminating bloodstream infections. He has served on technical expert panels for the AHRQ and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to promote efforts for improving patient safety and quality of care.

Professional Activities

  • American Medical Association
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • Faculty, Critical Care Congress, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2002–present
  • Faculty, American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting, 2002–present
  • Adult MCCKAP Committee, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2002–present

Selected Publications

  1. Haut ER, Noll K, Efron DT, Cornwell EE,  Berenholtz SM, Pronovost PJ. Can increased incidence of deep vein thrombosis be used as a marker of quality of care in the absence of standardized screening? J Trauma 63:1132–7, 2007.
  2. Winters BD, Berenholtz SM, Pronovost P. Improving patient safety reporting systems. Crit Care Med 35(4):1206–7, 2007.
  3. Berenholtz SM, Pronovost PJ, Ngo K, Barie PS, Hitt J, Kuti JL, Septimus E, Lawler N, Schilling L, Dorman T, Core Sepsis Measurement Team. Developing quality measures for sepsis care in the ICU.  Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf 33(9):559–68, 2007.
  4. Berenholtz SM, Pustavoitau A, Schwartz SJ, Pronovost PJ. How safe is my intensive care unit? Methods for monitoring and measurement. Curr Opin Crit Care 13(6):703–8, 2007.
  5. Pronovost PJ, Berenholtz SM, Needham DM. A framework for health care organizations to develop and evaluate a safety scorecard. JAMA 298(17):2063–5, 2007
  6. Pronovost PJ, Goeschel C, Marsteller J, Sexton JB, Pham JC, Berenholtz SM. A framework for patient safety research and improvement. Circulation 119(2):330–7, 2009.

Laboratory Members/Key Associates

For other members of the Johns Hopkins Quality and Safety Research Group, please go to


Richard L. Keenan Scholarship for research in anesthesiology (1992, 1993)
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (1993)
Richard H. Kirkland Scholarship for academic excellence (1993, 1994)
A.H. Robbins Scholarship for academic excellence (1993)
Outstanding dedication to Multidisciplinary Critical Care Fellowship (Teaching) (2000)
Clinician-Scientist Award (2000, 2001)
Fellow, American College of Critical Care Medicine (2005)