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John Matthew Austin, Ph.D., M.S.

Headshot of John Matthew Austin
  • Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Research Interests

Use of simulation tools to assess the effectiveness of implemented healthcare information technologies (HIT); Use of scientifically sound decision support tools for guiding safety, quality and efficiency improvements in healthcare delivery systems; Healthcare performance measures more


Dr. Matt Austin is an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on health care performance measures. Dr. Austin is a faculty member at the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

Before joining the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2012, Dr. Austin worked at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he provided oversight for the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, an annual survey of U.S. hospitals conducted by The Leapfrog Group that compares hospital performance on national measures of safety, quality and efficiency. He also served as a co-investigator on the Wisconsin Coalition for Collaborative Excellence in Assisted Living project, an evaluation of an innovative public-private collaborative initiative to improve the health, safety and quality of life for residents in assisted living facilities.

In his current role at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Austin continues to provide strategic guidance to The Leapfrog Group on performance measures for their annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey and their new Hospital Safety Score. Dr. Austin also serves as the principal investigator on a number of grants focusing on the use of performance measures in U.S. hospitals.

Dr. Austin earned his Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2011. more


  • Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • B.S.E.; University of Michigan (Michigan) (1995)
  • M.S.; University of Wisconsin (Wisconsin) (2007)
  • Ph.D.; University of Wisconsin (Wisconsin) (2011)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Austin aims to improve patient care by providing healthcare providers with data about their performance. Working with hospitals and departments, he develops tools to help them track patient outcomes and comply with best care practices.

His specific research interests include health care performance measures; the use of scientifically sound decision-support tools for guiding safety, quality and efficiency improvements in health care delivery systems; and the use of simulation tools to assess the effectiveness of implemented healthcare information technologies (HIT).

Selected Publications

Austin JM, Miller MR, Pronovost PJ. “Young and reckless? Greater standardization and transparency of performance is needed for pediatric performance measures.” Acad Pediatr. 2014 Sep-Oct;14(5 Suppl):S15-6. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2014.02.007.

Pronovost PJ, Marsteller JA, Wu AW, Holzmueller CG, Thompson DA, Lubomski LH, Paine LA, Hobson DB, Sawyer MD, Wyskiel RM, Aboumatar H, Needham DM, Goeschel CA, Winters BD, Pham JC, Sapirstein, A, Romig M, Mendez-Tellez PA, Gurses AP, Rosen MA, Weaver SJ, Austin JM, Latif A, Berenholtz SM. “Advancing the science of patient safety and quality improvement to the next level.” Advances in the Prevention and Control of Health Care-Associated Infections. Ed. Battles JB, Cleeman JI, Kahn KK, Weinberg DA. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, June 2014.

Austin JM, D'Andrea G, Birkmeyer JD, Leape LL, Milstein A, Pronovost PJ, Romano PS, Singer SJ, Vogus TJ, Wachter RM. “Safety in numbers: the development of Leapfrog's composite patient safety score for U.S. hospitals.” J Patient Saf. 2014 Mar;10(1):64-71. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e3182952644.

Pronovost PJ, Demski R, Callender T, Winner L, Miller MR, Austin JM, Berenholtz SM; National Leadership Core Measures Work Groups. “Demonstrating high reliability on accountability measures at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.” Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2013 Dec;39(12):531-44.

Contact for Research Inquiries

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
750 E. Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202 map
Phone: 410-637-6263

Email me

Activities & Honors

Professional Activities

  • Acquired Condition (MHAC) Task Force, JHH Maryland Hospital, 2013
  • Assistant Director, Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute Analytic Leadership Program in Patient Safety (ALPS), 2013 - 2014
  • Core Measure Workgroups Planning Team, National Leader Core Measure Workgroups, 2012
  • Principal Faculty, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

What’s a Patient To Do When Hospital Ratings Disagree?” National Public Radio, 3/4/2015

"Hospital Rating Systems Differ on Best and Worst," The New York Times, 3/2/2015

"Hospitals Make Steady Progress in Patient Safety: Study," Medscape, 5/6/2014

"Five Things to Know about Vetting a Doctor Online," Money Magazine, 7/18/2013

"What Hospital Rankings Mean for You," Everyday Health, 3/21/2013

"Plethora of Hospital Ratings Confusing, 'Flawed'," Fierce Healthcare, 3/21/2013

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