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Peter Pronovost, MD

Peter John Pronovost, MD
Senior Vice President, Patient Safety and Quality
Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Appointment Phone


Main Location

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

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Call 410-464-6641 (8a.m. to 6p.m., EST, Mon-Fri)

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  • Senior Vice President, Patient Safety and Quality
  • Director, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
  • Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
  • Associate Professor of Surgery

Centers & Institutes

  • Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality



Research Interests

Patient safety; ICU care; Quality health care; Evidence-based medicine


Dr. Peter Pronovost is a professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, surgery, nursing, and health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician who is dedicated to finding ways to make hospitals and healthcare safer for patients.

In June 2011, he was named director of the new Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins, as well as Johns Hopkins Medicine’s senior vice president for patient safety and quality.

Dr. Pronovost has developed a scientifically proven method for reducing the deadly infections associated with central line catheters. His simple but effective checklist protocol virtually eliminated these infections, saving 1,500 lives and $100 million annually across the state of Michigan. These results have been sustained for more than three years. Moreover, the checklist protocol is now being implemented across the United States, state by state, and several other countries. The New Yorker magazine says that Pronovost’s work has already saved more lives than that of any laboratory scientist in the past decade.

He has chronicled his work helping improve patient safety in his book, Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor’s Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out. In addition, he has written more than 400 articles and chapters related to patient safety and the measurement and evaluation of safety efforts. He serves in an advisory capacity to the World Health Organization’s World Alliance for Patient Safety.

The winner of several national awards, including the 2004 John Eisenberg Patient Safety Research Award and a 2008 MacArthur Fellowship (known popularly as the “genius grant”), he was named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in the world for his work in patient safety. For several years, Dr. Pronovost has been named one of the top 50 physician executives by Modern Healthcare, which also listed him in 2014 as one of the 100 most influential people in healthcare. He regularly addresses Congress on the importance of patient safety, prompting a report by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform strongly endorsing his ICU infection prevention program. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and an honorary fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. He serves on the expert panel for the Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Scorecard.

Dr. Pronovost, who earned his M.D. at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, previously headed Johns Hopkins Quality and Safety Research Group and was medical director of the Hopkins Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care. Both groups, as well as other partners through the university and health system, have been folded into the new Armstrong Institute.


  • English


Association of University Anesthesiologists, 2002 - present

Association for Health Services Research, 1997 - present

American Medical Association, 1996 - present

American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologist, 1994 - present

Society of Critical Care Medicine, 1992 - present

International Anesthesia Research Society, 1992 - present

American Society of Anesthesiologists, 1992 - present

Additional Resources

Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore MD ) (1991)


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (Baltimore MD ) (1994)


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (Baltimore MD ) (1997)


    • Critical Care Medicine, American Board of Anesthesiology (1997)
    • Anesthesiology, American Board of Anesthesiology (1996)
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Dr. Pronovost focuses on applying clinical research methods that improve the quality of healthcare and patient safety, particularly in intensive care units. His five-step checklist to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infections has saved thousands of lives and is now in place in 47 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and many countries throughout the world.

    Selected Publications

    1. Pronovost PJ, Goeschel CA, Olsen KL, Pham JC, Miller MR, Berenholtz SM, Sexton JB, Marsteller JA, Morlock LL, Wu AW, Loeb JM, Clancy CM. “Reducing health care hazards: lessons from the commercial aviation safety team.” Health Aff (Millwood). 2009 May-Jun;28(3):w479-89. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.28.3.w479. Epub 2009 Apr 7.
    2. Schwartz JM, Nelson KL, Saliski M, Hunt EA, Pronovost PJ. “The daily goals communication sheet: a simple and novel tool for improved communication and care.” Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2008 Oct;34(10):608-13, 561.
    3. Wachter RM, Flanders SA, Fee C, Pronovost PJ. “Public reporting of antibiotic timing in patients with pneumonia: lessons from a flawed performance measure.” Ann Intern Med. 2008 Jul 1;149(1):29-32.
    4. Pronovost PJ, Berenholtz SM, Needham DM. “Translating evidence into practice: a model for large scale knowledge translation.” BMJ. 2008 Oct 6;337:a1714. doi: 10.1136/bmj.a1714.
    5. Pronovost PJ, Goeschel CA, Wachter RM. “The wisdom and justice of not paying for ‘preventable complications.’” JAMA. 2008 May 14;299(18):2197-9. doi: 10.1001/jama.299.18.2197.
    6. Makary MA, Al-Attar A, Holzmueller CG, Sexton JB, Syin D, Gilson MM, Sulkowski MS, Pronovost PJ. “Needlestick injuries among surgeons in training.” N Engl J Med. 2007 Jun 28;356(26):2693-9.
    7. Pham JC, Kelen GD, Pronovost PJ. “National study on the quality of emergency department care in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction and pneumonia.” Acad Emerg Med. 2007 Oct;14(10):856-63.
    8. Pronovost P, Needham D, Berenholtz S, Sinopoli D, Chu H, Cosgrove S, Sexton B, Hyzy R, Welsh R, Roth G, Bander J, Kepros J, Goeschel C. “An intervention to decrease catheter-related bloodstream infections in the ICU.” N Engl J Med. 2006 Dec 28;355(26):2725-32. Erratum in: N Engl J Med. 2007 Jun 21;356(25):2660.
    9. Pronovost PJ, Angus DC, Dorman T, Robinson KA, Dremsizov TT, Young TL. “Physician staffing patterns and clinical outcomes in critically ill patients: a systematic review.” JAMA. 2002 Nov 6;288(17):2151-62. Review.
    10. Pronovost PJ, Jenckes MW, Dorman T, Garrett E, Breslow MJ, Rosenfeld BA, Lipsett PA, Bass E. “Organizational characteristics of intensive care units related to outcomes of abdominal aortic surgery.” JAMA. 1999 Apr 14;281(14):1310-7.



    Dr. Peter Pronovost's Lab

  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +

    Graduate Program Affiliation

    Department of Health Policy and Management, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Courses and Syllabi

    Graduate Seminar in Health Care Management and Leadership (Co-Director)

  • Activities & Honors +


    Gilman Scholar, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2013

    Malcolm Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, 2012

    50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare, Modern Healthcare, 2012

    Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, 2011

    Health Care Quality and Patient Safety Award, American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), 2011

    Professors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Preclinical and Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2009

    Hall of Fame Honoree, Silas Bronson Library, 2009

    Fairfield University, Sc.D. Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, 2009

    Rovenstine Memorial Lectureship, American Society of Anesthesiologists, 2009

    100 Most Influential People in the World, Time, 2008

    MacArthur Fellowship, 2008

    Physician Hero, Health Care Heroes Award, 2004

    John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Award, The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the National Quality Forum (NQF), 2004

    Presidential Citation, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

    William F. Rienhoff Scholars Award, 2003

    American Society of Anesthesiologists Presidential Scholar Award, 2003

    Leapfrog Group Health Care Purchasing Standard (based on my research), 2001 

    Clinician Scientist Award, 2000, 2001

    Professional Activities

    Editorial board, Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management

    Section Editor, Quality and Safety, Journal of Critical Care

    Editorial board, WebM&M, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality

    Editorial board, Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety

    Editorial board, The Patient – Patient Centered Outcomes Research (International Journal)

    Editorial board, ICU Management

    Advisory council, Johns Hopkins Medicine Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation, 2011 - present

    HPM Review Committee, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, 2011 - present

    2011 National Health Policy Advisory Committee, Academy Health, 2010 - present

    U.S. Medical and Public Health Research Working Group of the Commission on U.S. Federal Leadership in Health and Medicine at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, 2009 - present

    Patient Safety Task Force, National Board of Medical Examiner, 2009 - present

    The Professorial Promotions Committee, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2009 - present

    Advisory Board for the Surgical Safety National Quality

    Improvement Initiative, Imperial College and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, World Health Organization, 2009 - present

    Board of Directors, Josie King Foundation, 2008 - present

    Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008 - present

    Anticoagulation Steering Committee, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2008 - present

    National Quality Forum, Safe Practices Update Maintenance Committee, 2008 - present

    Sim Advisory Board, The Simulation Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2007 - present

    Committee Member, NQF Executive Institute Patient Safety Task Force, National Quality Forum, 2006 - present

    Clinical Quality Improvement Committee, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2005 - present

    Co-chair, Patient Safety Committee, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2001 - present

  • Videos & Media +


    Peter Pronovost: In the Interest of Patient Safety

    Dr. Peter Pronovost, Sr. Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality as well as Director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, explains why he became interested in this field, how his work is already saving lives, and what the institute's plans are for the future.

    The Science of Improving Patient Safety

    Dr. Pronovost discusses core scientific and practical principles that every clinician should know regarding patient safety.

    Johns Hopkins Medicine Peter J. Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., Book on Patient Safety

    Dr. Pronovost talks about a system that prevents patient deaths from healthcare-acquired infections.

    Lectures and Presentations

    Recent News Articles & Media Coverage

  • Events +
  • Contact & Locations +


    The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    600 N. Wolfe Street
    Sheikh Zayed Tower
    Baltimore, MD 21287
    Phone: 410-502-3231
    Appointment Phone: 410-502-3231
    Fax: 410-502-3235
    Location Map


    • Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine - Adult Critical Care

    For Research Inquiries Contact

    1909 Thames Street, 2nd Floor
    Baltimore, MD 21231

    Telephone: 410-502-6127
    Fax: 410-502-3235

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