Walsh Welcomes Renowned Patient Safety Expert Dr. Peter Pronovost

Walsh University Byers School of Nursing welcomed world-renowned patient safety expert Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM, to campus, where he addressed nursing students, faculty and staff on the future of healthcare and patient safety.

“In the Byers School of Nursing, one of our most important goals is to provide our nursing students with the opportunity to interact and hear directly from leading healthcare experts such as Dr. Pronovost. His work in patient safety has not only saved thousands of lives but has transformed worldwide how we deliver health care to patients,” said Gary and Linda Byers School of Nursing Dean Judy Kreye, Ph.D. “As we prepare our students for careers in nursing and compassionate patient care, we are grateful Dr. Pronovost took the time out of his busy schedule to share his vision for the future and offer insight into how we can best prepare our future healthcare leaders.”

University Hospitals Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, Dr. Peter Pronovost is a world-renowned patient safety champion, critical care physician, a prolific researcher, publishing over 800 peer review publications. A global thought leader, informing U.S. and global health policy, Dr. Pronovost is also a Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine and School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve.

“Today we are going to frame what the issues are in healthcare and try to explore what you need to do to be a leader going forward. I say leader because, in my view, leadership is a set of behaviors and not a title. And healthcare needs leaders like you,” said Dr. Pronovost during his Walsh presentation. “The reality is medicine today lists preventable harm as the third leading cause of death. How we are going to change that? The framework we are going to use is the stories we tell. Stories are the most potent force for change in the world. You change the story, and you change everything.”

Dr. Pronovost’s scientific work leveraging checklists to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infections has saved thousands of lives and earned him high-profile accolades, including being named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine, receiving a coveted MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” in 2008, and regularly recognized as one of the most influential executives and physician executives in healthcare. The life-saving intervention has been implemented state by state across the U.S. Today, these catheter infections that used to kill as many people as breast or prostate cancer, have been reduced by 80% compared to 1999 before the “To Err is Human” report was published.

After demonstrating the ability to eliminate one harm in most health systems, Dr. Pronovost sought to eliminate all harms in one health system, Johns Hopkins. Toward that goal, Dr. Pronovost served the Johns Hopkins Medicine Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality and the founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. The Institute coordinates research, training and operations for patient safety and quality across JHM, bringing together over 18 different disciplines from every school and division of the university. Dr. Pronovost served as the Senior Vice President for Clinical Strategy and the Chief Medical officer for Unitedhealth Care. Dr. Pronovost was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2011 and has received multiple honorary degrees. Dr. Pronovost is an advisor to the World Health Organizations’ World Alliance for Patient Safety and regularly addresses the U.S. Congress on patient safety issues. Dr. Pronovost regularly writes a column for the Wall Street Journal and US News and World Report. Dr. Pronovost is a founder of Doctella, a health information platform for quality of care.