Sean M Berenholtz

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (104)449.24 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The goal of quality improvement is to partner with patients, loved ones to end preventable harm, continuously improve patient outcomes and experience, and eliminate waste, yet few programs have successfully worked on all s in concert.
    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2015.05.008 · 4.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Academic medical centers (AMCs) could advance the science of health care delivery, improve patient safety and quality improvement, and enhance value, but many centers have fragmented efforts with little accountability. Johns Hopkins Medicine, the AMC under which the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Health System are organized, experienced similar challenges, with operational patient safety and quality leadership separate from safety and quality-related research efforts. To unite efforts and establish accountability, the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality was created in 2011.The authors describe the development, purpose, governance, function, and challenges of the institute to help other AMCs replicate it and accelerate safety and quality improvement. The purpose is to partner with patients, their loved ones, and all interested parties to end preventable harm, continuously improve patient outcomes and experience, and eliminate waste in health care. A governance structure was created, with care mapped into seven categories, to oversee the quality and safety of all patients treated at a Johns Hopkins Medicine entity. The governance has a Patient Safety and Quality Board Committee that sets strategic goals, and the institute communicates these goals throughout the health system and supports personnel in meeting these goals. The institute is organized into 13 functional councils reflecting their behaviors and purpose. The institute works daily to build the capacity of clinicians trained in safety and quality through established programs, advance improvement science, and implement and evaluate interventions to improve the quality of care and safety of patients.
    Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 05/2015; DOI:10.1097/ACM.0000000000000760 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE To determine whether implementation of a multifaceted intervention would significantly reduce the incidence of central line-associated bloodstream infections. DESIGN Prospective cohort collaborative. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS Intensive care units of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company hospitals in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. INTERVENTIONS A bundled intervention consisting of 3 components was implemented as part of the program. It consisted of a multifaceted approach that targeted clinician use of evidence-based infection prevention recommendations, tools that supported the identification of local barriers to these practices, and implementation ideas to help ensure patients received the practices. Comprehensive unit-based safety teams were created to improve safety culture and teamwork. Finally, the measurement and feedback of monthly infection rate data to safety teams, senior leaders, and staff in participating intensive care units was encouraged. The main outcome measure was the quarterly rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections. RESULTS Eighteen intensive care units from 7 hospitals in Abu Dhabi implemented the program and achieved an overall 38% reduction in their central line-associated bloodstream infection rate, adjusted at the hospital and unit level. The number of units with a quarterly central line-associated bloodstream infection rate of less than 1 infection per 1,000 catheter-days increased by almost 40% between the baseline and postintervention periods. CONCLUSION A significant reduction in the global morbidity and mortality associated with central line-associated bloodstream infections is possible across intensive care units in disparate settings using a multifaceted intervention. Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;00(0):1-7.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 04/2015; DOI:10.1017/ice.2015.70 · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • Michael Klompas, Sean M Berenholtz
    JAMA Internal Medicine 02/2015; 175(2):316-317. DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7020 · 13.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This article describes the interventions that sustained low central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates in the Michigan Keystone ICU Project. This analysis included data from March 2004 to December 2013 for 121 intensive care units (ICUs) in 73 hospitals. The Keystone Project was a cohort collaborative with an improvement team in each ICU. During the sustainability period, teams integrated the intervention into staff orientation, collected and submitted monthly data, and reported infection rates to leaders. The annual mean rate of BSIs dropped from 2.5 infections/1000 catheter-days in 2004 to 0.76 in 2013. A subset analysis found nearly double the percentage of ICUs with a mean rate of <1 infection/1000 catheter-days in 2013 compared with baseline. Active involvement of hospital leaders and the Keystone Center as well as ongoing monitoring and feedback of performance were important in sustaining results. These findings suggest that large-scale improvement projects can be sustained, establishing a new normal for care. © The Author(s) 2015.
    American Journal of Medical Quality 01/2015; DOI:10.1177/1062860614568647 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this article, the authors describe an initiative that established an infrastructure to manage quality and safety efforts throughout a complex health care system and that improved performance on core measures for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, and children's asthma. The Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Trustees created a governance structure to establish health care system-wide oversight and hospital accountability for quality and safety efforts throughout Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality was formed; institute leaders used a conceptual model nested in a fractal infrastructure to implement this initiative to improve performance at two academic medical centers and three community hospitals, starting in March 2012. The initiative aimed to achieve ≥ 96% compliance on seven inpatient process-of-care core measures and meet the requirements for the Delmarva Foundation and Joint Commission awards. The primary outcome measure was the percentage of patients at each hospital who received the recommended process of care. The authors compared health system and hospital performance before (2011) and after (2012, 2013) the initiative. The health system achieved ≥ 96% compliance on six of the seven targeted measures by 2013. Of the five hospitals, four received the Delmarva Foundation award and two received the Joint Commission award in 2013. The authors argue that, to improve quality and safety, health care systems should establish a system-wide governance structure and accountability process. They also should define and communicate goals and measures and build an infrastructure to support peer learning.
    Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 12/2014; 90(2). DOI:10.1097/ACM.0000000000000610 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Much research has been conducted to describe medical mistakes resulting in patient harm using databases that capture these events for medical organizations. The objective of this study was to describe patients' perceptions regarding disclosure and their actions after harm. Methods: We analyzed a patient harm survey database composed of responses from a voluntary online survey administered to patients by ProPublica, an independent nonprofit news organization, during a 1-year period (May 2012 to May 2013). We collected data on patient demographics and characteristics related to the acknowledgment of patient harms, the reporting of patient harm to an oversight agency, whether the patient or the family obtained the harm-associated medical records, as well as the presence of a malpractice claim. Results: There were 236 respondents reporting a patient harm (mean age, 49.1 y). In 11.4% (27/236) of harms, an apology by the medical organization or the clinician was made. In 42.8% (101/236) of harms, a complaint was filed with an oversight agency. In 66.5% (157/236) of harms, the patient or the family member obtained a copy of the pertinent medical records. A malpractice claim was reported in 19.9% (47/236) of events. Conclusions: In this sample of self-reported patient harms, we found a perception of inadequate apology. Nearly half of patient harm events are reported to an oversight agency, and roughly one-fifth result in a malpractice claim.
    Journal of Patient Safety 11/2014; DOI:10.1097/PTS.0000000000000136 · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To develop and field test an implementation assessment tool for assessing progress of hospital units in implementing improvements for the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in a two-state collaborative, including data on actions implemented by participating teams and contextual factors that may influence their efforts. Using the data collected, learn how implementation actions can be improved and analyze effects of implementation progress on outcome measures. Design. We developed the tool as an interview protocol that included quantitative and qualitative items addressing actions on the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) and clinical interventions for use in guiding data collection via telephone interviews. Setting. We conducted interviews with leaders of improvement teams from units participating in the two-state VAP prevention initiative. Methods. We collected data from 43 hospital units as they implemented actions for the VAP initiative and performed descriptive analyzes of the data with comparisons across the 2 states. Results. Early in the VAP prevention initiative, most units had made only moderate progress overall in using many of the CUSP actions known to support their improvement processes. For contextual factors, a relatively small number of barriers were found to have important negative effects on implementation progress (in particular, barriers related to workload and time issues). We modified coaching provided to the unit teams to reinforce training in weak spots that the interviews identified. Conclusion. These assessments provided important new knowledge regarding the implementation science of quality improvement projects, including feedback during implementation, and give a better understanding of which factors most affect implementation.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 10/2014; 35(S3):S116-S123. DOI:10.1086/677832 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 08/2014; 35(8):915-936. DOI:10.1086/677144 · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • Nishi Rawat, Sean Berenholtz
    Critical Care Medicine 08/2014; 42(8):1940-1941. DOI:10.1097/CCM.0000000000000433 · 6.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is among the most lethal of all healthcare-associated infections. Guidelines summarize interventions to prevent VAP, but translating recommendations into practice is an art unto itself. Objective. Summarize strategies to enhance adoption of VAP prevention interventions. Methods. We conducted a systematic literature review of articles in the MEDLINE database published between 2002 and 2012. We selected articles on the basis of specific inclusion criteria. We used structured forms to abstract implementation strategies and inserted them into the "engage, educate, execute, and evaluate" framework. Results. Twenty-seven articles met our inclusion criteria. Engagement strategies included multidisciplinary teamwork, involvement of local champions, and networking among peers. Educational strategies included training sessions and developing succinct summaries of the evidence. Execution strategies included standardization of care processes and building redundancies into routine care. Evaluation strategies included measuring performance and providing feedback to staff. Conclusion. We summarized and organized practical implementation strategies in a framework to enhance adoption of recommended evidence-based practices. We believe this work fills an important void in most clinical practice guidelines, and broad use of these strategies may expedite VAP reduction efforts.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 08/2014; 35(8):998-1004. DOI:10.1086/677152 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Despite evidence supporting restrictive red blood cell (RBC) transfusion thresholds and the associated clinical practice guidelines, clinical practice has been slow to change in the intensive care unit (ICU). Our aim was to identify barriers to conservative transfusion practice adherence.Study Design and MethodsA mixed-methods study involving observation of prescriber (i.e., physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners) and bedside nurse daily bedside rounds, provider survey, and medical record abstraction was conducted in one cardiac surgical ICU (CSICU) and one surgical ICU (SICU) in an academic hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.ResultsOf 52 patient encounters observed during bedside rounds, 38 (73%) involved patients without evidence of active bleeding or cardiac ischemia. Surveys were completed by 52 (93%) of the 56 providers participating in rounds. Prescribers in the CSICU and SICU (87 and 90%, respectively) indicated the ideal pretransfusion hemoglobin (Hb) to be not more than 7 g/dL in nonbleeding and/or nonischemic patients compared to a minority of nurses (8% [p = 0.002] and 42% [p = 0.015], respectively). Prescribers and nurses in both ICUs overestimated the typical pretransfusion Hb in their units (CSICU, p < 0.001; SICU, p = 0.019). During rounds, providers infrequently explicitly discussed Hb monitoring or transfusion thresholds (33%) despite most (60%) reporting significant variation in transfusion thresholds between individual prescribers.Conclusions Our study identified several provider and system barriers to evidence-based transfusion practices including knowledge differences, overly optimistic estimates of current practice, and heterogeneous transfusion practice in each ICU. Further work is necessary to develop targeted interventions to improve evidence-based RBC transfusion practices.
    Transfusion 06/2014; 54(10). DOI:10.1111/trf.12718 · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immunization for influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia were incorporated into The Joint Commission "global immunization" core measure January 1, 2012. The authors' hospital chose to adhere strictly to guidelines to avoid overvaccination. An immunization order set was created to aid appropriate ordering practices. In spite of this effort, compliance rates remained below the goal. The objective was to improve compliance with inpatient vaccination core measures to >96%. An educational slide set was created and distributed by the Housestaff Patient Safety and Quality Council (HPSQC). A competition was established among departments. Finally, the HPSQC partnered with quality improvement staff to improve communication and optimize concurrent review processes. The average compliance prior to the HPSQC vaccination initiative was 78% for pneumococcal pneumonia and 84% for influenza; average compliance in the months following the intervention was 96% and 97.5%, respectively. This project yielded significant improvement in compliance with vaccination core measures.
    American Journal of Medical Quality 05/2014; DOI:10.1177/1062860614532682 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is a national priority. Although substantial progress has been achieved, considerable deficiencies remain in our ability to efficiently and effectively translate existing knowledge about HAI prevention into reliable, sustainable, widespread practice. "A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Updates" is the product of a highly collaborative endeavor designed to support hospitals' efforts to implement and sustain HAI prevention strategies.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 05/2014; 35(5):460-3. DOI:10.1086/675820 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Regular oral care with chlorhexidine gluconate is standard of care for patients receiving mechanical ventilation in most hospitals. This policy is predicated on meta-analyses suggesting decreased risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia, but these meta-analyses may be misleading because of lack of distinction between cardiac surgery and non-cardiac surgery studies, conflation of open-label vs double-blind investigations, and insufficient emphasis on patient-centered outcomes such as duration of mechanical ventilation, length of stay, and mortality. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the impact of routine oral care with chlorhexidine on patient-centered outcomes in patients receiving mechanical ventilation. DATA SOURCES PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and Web of Science from inception until July 2013 without limits on date or language. STUDY SELECTION Randomized clinical trials comparing chlorhexidine vs placebo in adults receiving mechanical ventilation. Of 171 unique citations, 16 studies including 3630 patients met inclusion criteria. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS Eligible trials were independently identified, evaluated for risk of bias, and extracted by 2 investigators. Differences were resolved by consensus. We stratified studies into cardiac surgery vs non-cardiac surgery and open-label vs double-blind investigations. Eligible studies were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Ventilator-associated pneumonia, mortality, duration of mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit and hospital length of stay, antibiotic prescribing. RESULTS There were fewer lower respiratory tract infections in cardiac surgery patients randomized to chlorhexidine (relative risk [RR], 0.56 [95% CI, 0.41-0.77]) but no significant difference in ventilator-associated pneumonia risk in double-blind studies of non-cardiac surgery patients (RR, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.66-1.16]). There was no significant mortality difference between chlorhexidine and placebo in cardiac surgery studies (RR, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.25-2.14]) and nonsignificantly increased mortality in non-cardiac surgery studies (RR, 1.13 [95% CI, 0.99-1.29]). There were no significant differences in mean duration of mechanical ventilation or intensive care length of stay. Data on hospital length of stay and antibiotic prescribing were limited. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Routine oral care with chlorhexidine prevents nosocomial pneumonia in cardiac surgery patients but may not decrease ventilator-associated pneumonia risk in non-cardiac surgery patients. Chlorhexidine use does not affect patient-centered outcomes in either population. Policies encouraging routine oral care with chlorhexidine for non-cardiac surgery patients merit reevaluation.
    JAMA Internal Medicine 03/2014; 174(5). DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.359 · 13.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. Diagnosing ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is difficult, and misdiagnosis can lead to unnecessary and prolonged antibiotic treatment. We sought to quantify and characterize unjustified antimicrobial use for VAP and identify risk factors for continuation of antibiotics in patients without VAP after 3 days. Methods. Patients suspected of having VAP were identified in 6 adult intensive care units (ICUs) over 1 year. A multidisciplinary adjudication committee determined whether the ICU team's VAP diagnosis and therapy were justified, using clinical, microbiologic, and radiographic data at diagnosis and on day 3. Outcomes included the proportion of VAP events misdiagnosed as and treated for VAP on days 1 and 3 and risk factors for the continuation of antibiotics in patients without VAP after day 3. Results. Two hundred thirty-one events were identified as possible VAP by the ICUs. On day 1, 135 (58.4%) of them were determined to not have VAP by the committee. Antibiotics were continued for 120 (76%) of 158 events without VAP on day 3. After adjusting for acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II score and requiring vasopressors on day 1, sputum culture collection on day 3 was significantly associated with antibiotic continuation in patients without VAP. Patients without VAP or other infection received 1,183 excess days of antibiotics during the study. Conclusions. Overdiagnosis and treatment of VAP was common in this study and led to 1,183 excess days of antibiotics in patients with no indication for antibiotics. Clinical differences between non-VAP patients who had antibiotics continued or discontinued were minimal, suggesting that clinician preferences and behaviors contribute to unnecessary prescribing.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 03/2014; 35(3):278-84. DOI:10.1086/675279 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Several studies demonstrating that central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are preventable prompted a national initiative to reduce the incidence of these infections. Methods. We conducted a collaborative cohort study to evaluate the impact of the national "On the CUSP: Stop BSI" program on CLABSI rates among participating adult intensive care units (ICUs). The program goal was to achieve a unit-level mean CLABSI rate of less than 1 case per 1,000 catheter-days using standardized definitions from the National Healthcare Safety Network. Multilevel Poisson regression modeling compared infection rates before, during, and up to 18 months after the intervention was implemented. Results. A total of 1,071 ICUs from 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, reporting 27,153 ICU-months and 4,454,324 catheter-days of data, were included in the analysis. The overall mean CLABSI rate significantly decreased from 1.96 cases per 1,000 catheter-days at baseline to 1.15 at 16-18 months after implementation. CLABSI rates decreased during all observation periods compared with baseline, with adjusted incidence rate ratios steadily decreasing to 0.57 (95% confidence intervals, 0.50-0.65) at 16-18 months after implementation. Conclusion. Coincident with the implementation of the national "On the CUSP: Stop BSI" program was a significant and sustained decrease in CLABSIs among a large and diverse cohort of ICUs, demonstrating an overall 43% decrease and suggesting the majority of ICUs in the United States can achieve additional reductions in CLABSI rates.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 01/2014; 35(1):56-62. DOI:10.1086/674384 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients continue to suffer preventable harm from the omission of evidence-based therapies. To remedy this, The Joint Commission developed core measures for therapies with strong evidence and, through the Top Performer on Key Quality Measures program, recognize hospitals that deliver those therapies to 95% of patients. The Johns Hopkins Medicine board of trustees committed to high reliability and to providing > or = 96% of patients with the recommended therapies. The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality coordinated the core measures initiative, which targeted nine process measures for the 96% performance goal: eight Joint Commission accountability measures and one Delmarva Foundation core measure. A conceptual model for this initiative included communicating goals, building capacity with Lean Sigma methods, transparently reporting performance and establishing an accountability plan, and developing a sustainability plan. Clinicians and quality improvement staff formed one team for each targeted process measure, and Armstrong Institute staff supported the teams work. The primary performance measure was the percentage of patients who received the recommended process of care, as defined by the specifications for each of The Joint Commission's accountability measures. The > or = 96% performance goal was achieved for 82% of the measures in 2011 and 95% of the measures in 2012. With support from leadership and a conceptual model to communicate goals, use robust improvement methods, and ensure accountability, The Johns Hopkins Hospital achieved high reliability for The Joint Commission accountability measures.
    Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety / Joint Commission Resources 12/2013; 39(12):531-44.
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    ABSTRACT: Improving surgical quality is a priority, but building a business case for the efforts could be challenging. Bridging the gap between the clinicians and hospital leaders is the first step to align quality and financial priorities within health care. The aim of this study was to evaluate the financial impact of the surgical comprehensive unit-based safety program on colorectal surgery procedures. This a retrospective cohort study. This study was conducted at a university-based tertiary care hospital. All patients undergoing colectomy or proctectomy between July 2010 and June 2012 were included. A comprehensive unit-based safety program focused on colorectal surgical site infection reduction was implemented. Three surgeons participated in the program in year 1, and 5 surgeons participated in year 2. Patients were categorized as participating or nonparticipating based on the surgeon who performed the procedure. Resource utilization and cost were the main outcome measures. During the 2 years, there were 626 patients who met the selection criteria. Participating surgeons operated on 444 patients (70.9%), and the nonparticipating surgeons operated on 182 patients (29.1%). After adjusting for covariates, the variable direct cost was significantly lower for the participating surgeons in laboratory work by $191 (p = 0.009), operating room utilization by $149 (p = 0.05), and supplies by $615 (p = 0.003). The surgical site infection rates, need for an intensive care unit stay, and length of stay were not significantly different between the 2 groups. The multiple biases related to surgeon self-selection for program participation and surgeon training and clinical skills were not addressed in this study owing to the limitations in sample size and data collection. A comprehensive unit-based safety program implementation, including dedicated frontline providers who focused on the standardization of protocols, was able to reduce the variation in resource utilization and costs in comparison with a control group.
    Diseases of the Colon & Rectum 11/2013; 56(11):1298-1303. DOI:10.1097/DCR.0b013e3182a4b973 · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper summarizes the roundtable discussion from the Second International Patient Safety Conference held in April 9-11, 2013, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The objectives of the roundtable discussion were to: (1) review the conceptual framework for building capacity in quality and safety in critical care. (2) examine examples of leading international experiences in building capacity. (3) review the experience in Saudi Arabia in this area. (4) discuss the role of building capacity in simulation for patient safety in critical care and (5) review the experience in building capacity in an ongoing improvement project for severe sepsis and septic shock.
    Annals of Thoracic Medicine 10/2013; 8(4):183-5. DOI:10.4103/1817-1737.118480 · 1.34 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
449.24 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2015
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2001–2015
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Department of Surgery
      • • Department of Emergency Medicine
      • • Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2013
    • Beverly Hospital, Boston MA
      Beverly, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2011
    • Tulane University
      New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • 2002–2011
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
      • Department of Health Policy and Management
      Baltimore, MD, United States