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Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., Receives National Patient Safety and Quality Award

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Stephenson 410-955-5384
September 16, 2004


Peter J. Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor and medical director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care and a national authority on patient safety, has received this year’s John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award in Research Achievement for his “creative research initiatives that have led to dramatic improvements in the safety and quality of care in intensive care units.”
The Eisenberg Award, established and presented by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), recognizes individuals and organizations in several categories related to advances in patient safety and quality of care.

Pronovost, a long-time patient safety advocate at Hopkins, won the coveted award for research demonstrating that staffing intensive care units (ICUs) with physicians and nurses specializing in intensive care medicine significantly improves patient outcomes. In addition, he developed a patient safety program at Hopkins that has greatly reduced the number of medication errors, patient length of stay in the ICU, and bloodstream infections acquired by patients while hospitalized. The findings from Pronovost’s research have been implemented in hospitals throughout the nation and world. 

“We are greatly honored to receive this recognition,” Pronovost says. “Our team’s approach to patient safety is to apply science to the delivery of health care, often balancing validity and feasibility. We have been successful because we have been able to balance these to produce practical tools that caregivers can use in their daily work.”

Recently, he received a $1 million, two-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to further his research on improving patient safety. He also is working with the Michigan Hospital Association and several other state hospitals to implement his safety programs.

Earlier this year, Pronovost also was named a “Health Care Hero” by Baltimore’s Daily Record newspaper for his work in patient safety.

The patient safety awards program, launched in 2002 by NQF and the Joint Commission, honors John M. Eisenberg, M.D., M.B.A., administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) at the time of his death in March  2002. Eisenberg was one of the founders of the NQF and sat on its board of directors. In his roles as both AHRQ administrator and chair of the federal government’s Quality Inter-Agency Coordination Task Force, he was a passionate advocate for patient safety and health care quality.

Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations. 

The NQF is a private, not-for-profit, public benefit corporation created in 1999 to improve American health care through endorsement of consensus-based national standards for measurement and public reporting of health care performance data that provide meaningful information about whether care is safe, timely, beneficial, patient-centered, equitable and efficient. Established as a unique public-private partnership, the NQF has 220 members representing all parts of the health care industry.

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