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Sean Michael Berenholtz, M.D.

Sean Michael Berenholtz, M.D.

Headshot of Sean Michael Berenholtz
  • Director of Adult Surgical Critical Care Performance Improvement
  • Professor of Anesthesiology and 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 map
Phone: 410-955-9080 | Fax: 410-955-8978


Dr. Berenholtz is a practicing anaesthesiologist and critical care physician, a patient safety researcher and leader. He is a Professor in the Departments of Anaesthesiology 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 the Physician Director of Inpatient Quality and Safety 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 80 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 to improve teamwork, communication, and reduce hospital acquired infections in more than 100 Michigan ICUs and the National On The Cusp: Stop BSI project to implement the program in 47 states. He has served on several AHRQ, CMS, and World Health Organization technical expert panels related to improving patient safety and quality of care. more


  • Director of Adult Surgical Critical Care Performance Improvement
  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. Winters BD, Berenholtz SM, Pronovost P. Improving patient safety reporting systems. Crit Care Med 35(4):1206–7, 2007.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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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