Patient safety expert Dr. Peter Pronovost to leave Johns Hopkins: 7 things to know

Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, one of the nation's leading patient safety experts, will leave his posts at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to take a position with UnitedHealthcare, according to an announcement made by the patient safety expert via Twitter on Thursday.

Here are seven things to know.

1. Pronovost will step away from his roles as senior vice president for patient safety and quality at John Hopkins Medicine and director of Hopkins' Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality in mid-January, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.

2. In February, Dr. Pronovost will become the senior vice president for clinical strategy at UnitedHealthcare. In his tweet, Dr. Pronovost described the move as a "great opportunity to help improve care for millions."

3. Pronovost has been at the forefront of quality and patient safety improvement initiatives that have influenced how the nation's providers deliver care. He is the developer of a checklist protocol to reduce infections associated with central line catheters. These protocols led to an 80 percent drop in such infections nationwide, according to the Baltimore Sun.

4. In 2008, Time magazine named Dr. Pronovost one of the 100 most influential people in the world, describing the physician as having "saved more lives than any laboratory scientist in the past decade by relying on a wonderfully simple tool: a checklist." Dr. Pronovost took the helm of the Armstrong Institute in 2011, where his work earned him a MacArthur Fellowship.

5. "Beyond any question, under Peter's stewardship the Armstrong Institute has emerged as a leader in helping to reduce errors, improve clinical outcomes and experiences, and reduce waste in healthcare delivery at Johns Hopkins and throughout the world," said Johns Hopkins leadership in an email to those in the Hopkins community, according to the Baltimore Sun.

6. In a welcoming statement, UnitedHealthcare said, "Dr. Pronovost's patient-centered approach to care and deep clinical expertise will help bring a provider point-of-view deeper into UnitedHealthcare and improve how payers and care providers work together to share best practices, build appropriate value-based incentives, and effectively use data to improve the patient experience."

7. In the internal email, Johns Hopkins leaders said there will be a search for Dr. Pronovost's successor and that they will announce interim measures soon.

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