Patient safety expert Peter Pronovost will depart Johns Hopkins' Armstrong Institute to join UnitedHealthcare

Male doctor in white lab coat
Pronovost tweeted that serving as the head of the Armstrong Institute was the "honor of a lifetime." (Getty/Saklakova)

Peter Pronovost, M.D., one of the country's preeminent authorities on patient safety, will leave Johns Hopkins for UnitedHealthcare, he announced on social media. 

Pronovost tweeted that he will depart as director of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety to become senior vice president for clinical safety at UHC in February. Serving as the head of the Armstrong Institute was the "honor of a lifetime," he said. 

Peter Pronovost
Peter Pronovost

Pronovost has led the institute since 2011. He is well-known for developing an intensive care checklist that over the course of 18 months saved $100 million and 1,500 lives in Michigan. The protocol has since been implemented across the country. 

In 2008, Time magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He regularly testifies before Congress on patient safety issues and also serves as an adviser to the World Health Organization's World Alliance for Patient Safety.

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Johns Hopkins leaders told staff that they will conduct a search for someone to replace Pronovost, and that it would announce interim steps in the near future, according to The Baltimore Sun.

In a statement to the newspaper, UnitedHealthcare said that Pronovost has "distinguished himself nationally and internationally with groundbreaking work" on patient safety.

"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 can work together to share best practices, build appropriate value-based incentives and effectively use data to improve the patient experience," the insurer said.

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Pronovosts' colleagues took to social media to wish him well in the next chapter of his career. The Armstrong Institute tweeted that it miss its "inspiring, dynamic leader."