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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
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The Johns Hopkins Hospital

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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; and evidence-based medicine


Peter Pronovost is a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician and a professor in the departments of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine, Surgery and Health Policy and Management who is dedicated to finding ways to make hospitals and health care 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 Medicines senior vice president for patient safety and quality.

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 Pronovosts work has already saved more lives than that of any laboratory scientist in the past decade.

Pronovost has chronicled his work helping improve patient safety in his book, Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctors 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 Organizations World Alliance for Patient Safety.

The winner of several national awards, including the 2004 John Eisenberg Patient Safety Research Award and a coveted MacArthur Fellowship in 2008, known popularly as the genius grant. Pronovost was named by Time magazine as one of the worlds 100 most influential people in the world for his work in patient safety. 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.

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 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


1992-present Member, International Anesthesia Research Society
1992-present Member, American Society of Anesthesiologists
1992-present Member, Society of Critical Care Medicine
1994-present Member, American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologist
1996-present Member, American Medical Association
1997-present Member, Association for Health Services Research
2002-present Member, Association of University Anesthesiologists

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)


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

    Selected Publications

    (Selected from over 260 peer-reviewed publications)

    1. 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; 281(14):1310-7.
    2. 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; 288(17):2151-62.
    3. Pronovost PJ, 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; 355(26):2725-32.
    4. 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; 10: 856-63.
    5. 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; 356(26):2693-9.
    6. Pronovost PJ, Goeschel CA, Wachter RM. The Wisdom and Justice of Not Paying for Preventable Complications. JAMA. 2008; 299(18):2197-9.
    7. Pronovost PJ, Berenholtz SM, Needham DM. Translating evidence into practice: a model for large scale knowledge translation. BMJ. 2008; 6;337:a1714.
    8. 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; 149(1):29-32.
    9. 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; 34(10):608-13, 561.
    10. Pronovost PJ, Goeschel CA, Olsen KL, Pham JC, Miller MR, Bereholtz SM, Sexton JB, Marstellar JA, Morlock LL, Wu AW. Creating a Public-Private Partnership to Mitigate Health Care Hazards: Learning from the Commercial Aviation Safety Team. Health Affairs. 2009; 28(3)w479-89.

  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +
  • Activities & Honors +


    2000, 2001 Clinician Scientist Award
    2001 Leapfrog Group Health Care Purchasing Standard (based on my research)
    2002 Presidential Citation for SCCM Contributions in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
    2003 William F. Rienhoff Scholars Award
    2003 American Society of Anesthesiologists Presidential Scholar Award
    2004 Physician Hero, Health Care Heroes Award
    2004 The JCAHO and NQF John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Award
    2008 One of Time Magazines 100 Most Influential People In The World 2008
    2008 2008 MacArthur Fellowship Recipient
    2009 American Society of Anesthesiologists, Rovenstine Memorial Lectureship
    2009 Professors Preclinical and Clinical Teaching Award

    Professional Activities

    Chosen by Time Magazine as one of their 100 most influential people in the World for 2008.

    One of 25 individuals awarded a coveted MacArthur Fellowship in 2008, known popularly as the genius grant.
  • 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.

  • Events +
  • Contact & Locations +


    The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    600 N. Wolfe Street
    Hospital Main Entrance - 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

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