Sean M. Berenholtz, M.D., M.H.S.

Sean Michael Berenholtz, M.D., M.H.S.

Headshot of Sean M. Berenholtz
  • Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine


Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine

Research Interests

Improving healthcare quality and patient safety

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Outside of Maryland & Washington D.C.

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-9080
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287
Phone: 410-955-9080 | Fax: 410-955-8978
The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance) - Google Maps


Dr. Berenholtz is a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician, a patient safety researcher and leader. He is a Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Surgery in the School of Medicine, and Health Policy and Management in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Berenholtz is core senior faculty for the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Dr. Berenholtz holds a Masters degree in clinical investigation from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Berenholtz has authored more than 150 articles and chapters in the fields of patient safety, 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, including the successful AHRQ funded Keystone ICU project, National On The Cusp: Stop BSI project, Surgical Unit-Based Safety Program (SUSP), and National Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) for Ventilator-Associated Conditions and Ventilator- Associated Pneumonia Prevention. He has served on several AHRQ, CMS, and World Health Organization technical expert panels and presidential advisory panels related to improving patient safety and quality of care. more


  • Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
  • Professor of Surgery

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Medicine; Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine (1995)


  • Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1999)


  • Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2000)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Anesthesiology (Anesthesiology) (2000)
  • American Board of Anesthesiology (Critical Care Medicine) (2001)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

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

Winters BD, Berenholtz SM, Pronovost P. Improving patient safety reporting systems. Crit Care Med 35(4):1206–7, 2007

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

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

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

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

Activities & Honors


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

Professional Activities

  • Principal Faculty, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
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