The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) announces that Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM, has received the first ABMS Health Care Quality and Patient Safety Award. This award recognizes extraordinary national or international contributions to the fields of quality and patient safety, with a particular focus on physician performance, professionalism and the improvement of clinical outcomes. Pronovost accepted the award at the April 25 ABMS Annual Assembly Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Pronovost is credited with developing an acclaimed five-step checklist protocol for doctors and nurses designed to prevent deadly bloodstream infections associated with central line catheters, which has saved more than 1,500 lives. His checklist is now being implemented in hospitals across the U.S. and in several other countries around the world, and has helped reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections by 60 percent.
Through the Health Care Quality and Patient Safety Award, ABMS recognizes outstanding individuals like Peter Pronovost who have made a significant difference in improving patient safety and health care quality, says John B. McCabe, MD, ABMS board chair. Peter has transformed infection control with a simple idea that is already influencing other areas of patient safety. Throughout his career, he has made important contributions to the science of safety and its implementation in everyday health settings. For these reasons, Peter is the ideal first recipient of the ABMS Health Care Quality and Patient Safety Award.
Pronovost has focused his career on finding ways to make hospitals and healthcare safer for patients. His research addresses several dimensions of patient safety: translating evidence into practice, identifying and mitigating hazards, measuring and improving safety culture, and program development, measurement and evaluation. Pronovosts findings have been widely published.
Medical errors are one of the leading causes of death and injury in our country, and many of these are preventable, says Pronovost. Our patients should be able to count on receiving healthcare that is safe. It is our role as medical professionals to ensure a strong culture of patient safety across the continuum of care, from the doctors who provide care in a large university hospital to the housekeeping staff at a local clinic. It is an honor to receive the first ABMS Health Care Quality and Patient Safety Award. I am committed to continuing my work on this important issue and my efforts to further increase awareness about patient safety.
Pronovost, a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician, is senior vice president for patient safety and quality, and director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is also a professor in the departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Surgery and Health Policy and Management. Pronovost is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and has a subspecialty certificate in critical care medicine.