• Internal Medicine
    • Patient Safety
    President & CEO, NPSF
    President & CEO, NPSF
    • President, Chief Executive Officer at National Patient Safety Foundation
    Dr. Gandhi is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Patient Safety Foundation, the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute, and the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety. She is a prominent advocate for patient safety at the reginal, national and international level, driving educational and professional certification efforts, and helping to create and spread innovative new safety ideas. Dr. Gandhi was formerly the Executive Director of Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Chief Quality and Safety Officer at Partners Healthcare. In these roles, she led the efforts to standardize and implement patient safety best practices across hospital and health systems. Throughout her career, Dr. Gandhi has been committed to educating other clinicians on the topic of patient safety. She has been an invited speaker for numerous organizations, has mentored physicians in post-doctoral study, and has frequently served on national and regional committees and boards. She was included in Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare in 2014-2015 and was also one of their 2015 Top 25 Women in Healthcare. Dr. Gandhi’s research interests focus on patient safety and reducing error using information systems. In 2009, she received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for her contributions to understanding the epidemiology and possible prevention strategies for medical errors in the outpatient setting. Dr. Gandhi is a board certified internist and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and she is a Certified Professional in Patient Safety. She received her MD and MPH from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, and trained at Duke University Medical Center. Her undergraduate training at Cornell University was in biochemistry.
    • comparative effectiveness analysis
    • Pharmaceutical policy and economics
    • international health
    • healthcare reforms
    • Associate Professor of Health Economics, Founding Director of the Pharmaceutical Economics Research Group, Department of Health Policy and Management at University of Pittsburgh
    Dr. Zhang is an associate professor (tenured) of health economics, and the founding Director of the Pharmaceutical Economics Research Group in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Zhang's research focuses on economic evaluation of health policy and healthcare reform, with a focus on pharmaceutical policy. Her research has been published in leading medicine, health policy, and economics journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, and the American Economic Review, and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and on National Public Radio. She has led multiple large-scale projects with funding from the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, the Commonwealth Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and has received multiple international awards. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics and serves on the editorial board of PLOS ONE. She has served as a consultant to the IOM and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and a reviewer for the NIH, PCORI, and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
    • Internal Medicine
    • Primary Care Physician, Director of the National Resource Center for Academic Detailing, Health Services Researcher at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Michael Fischer is a primary care physician and health services researcher at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His research evaluates medication adherence; the appropriate use of prescription drugs; prescription drug reimbursement policy; and the impact of electronic prescribing. He is the Director of the National Resource Center for Academic Detailing (, an initiative supported by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, to assist organizations implementing interventions to improve health care quality and patient outcomes. Dr. Fischer earned his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine and a Master of Science degree in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed residency training in primary care internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He teaches in both the outpatient and inpatient components of the residency program and has an active primary care practice at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
    • Geriatric Medicine
    • Geriatrics
    • Deputy Head of Homecare Hospice, Israel Cancer Association, Geriatric-Palliative Consultant at Wolfson Medical Center
    Dr. Doron Garfinkel is an Assistant Professor with specializations in internal medicine, palliative medicine and geriatrics; two year fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the Stanford university medical center, California. Previously head of a Geriatric-Palliative department, currently deputy head of Homecare hospice of the Israel Cancer Association, and geriatric-palliative consultant at the Wolfson medical center, Israel. Main clinical and research activities concentrate on age-associated diseases, end of life topics including cancer, frailty, dementia, hip fractures and pressure sores. Particularly, research on sleep disorders and controlled release melatonin, and on "the war against polypharmacy". Dr. Garfinkel is trying to promote his Good Palliative-Geriatric Practice (GPGP) method to de-prescribe, a systematic approach to combat polypharmacy efficiently and safely, combining ethics, evidence based medicine and patient/family preferences. Dr. Garfinkel published the first prospective study in the scientific literature that focused on reducing the harms of polypharmacy while measuring the effects of massive de-prescribing on health outcomes and potential adverse effects of drug discontinuation. He showed that a simultaneous discontinuation of many medications often leads to improved clinical outcomes, including functional, and/or mental, and/or cognitive status with no significant adverse events. This was proven both in disabled patients in nursing departments (where mortality and hospitalization rates decreased as well), and in elderly people in the community (Arch Int Med 170: 1648-54, 2010). Since then, he has been successfully treating hundreds of elderly patients with drug discontinuation (de-prescribing). In 2013, Dr. Garfinkel with several other international experts have founded IGRIMUP - International Group for Reducing Inappropriate Medication Use & Polypharmacy (at the moment comprising renowned health professionals from 23 different countries). The goals of IGRIMUP are to improve research, education and clinical strategies designed to combat a major, though iatrogenic and preventable epidemic of the 21st century – inappropriate medication use and polypharmacy.
    • Internal Medicine
    • Health Policy Evidence Based Public Health
    • Patient Safety
    • Medication Safety
    • Director, Medication Safety Program at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Dr. Budnitz directs the Medication Safety Program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He has authored over 50 publications on medication safety, public health surveillance, and injury prevention, which have led to new policies by the CMS and FDA and a federal action plan for adverse drug event prevention. Dr. Budnitz also launched a public-private partnership, the PROTECT Initiative, to reduce medication overdoses in children, which has led to new child-resistant packaging, dosing and e-prescribing standards, and a public education campaign on safe medication use and storage. Dr. Budnitz joined CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with CDC’s Injury Center in 2001 before starting the Medication Safety Program in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion in 2005. He received a BA (Government) from Harvard University and a combined MD-MPH (Epidemiology) from Emory University and completed internal medicine residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Budnitz is currently a Captain in the US Public Health Service and has practiced as a Board-certified internist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center and the DeKalb-Grady Neighborhood Health Center.
    • Internal Medicine
    Dean and Head of School of Medicine
    Dean and Head of School of Medicine
    • Dean and Head of School of Medicine at University of Nottingham
    Tony Avery is Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham in the UK. He is also a family practitioner in Nottingham and Professor of Primary Health Care. He graduated in medicine from the University of Sheffield in 1986. He trained as a GP in Nottingham and since 1992 has held an academic appointment at the University of Nottingham while continuing to undertake part-time clinical work in a local general practice. His research focuses on identifying the frequency, nature and causes of prescribing safety problems in primary care, and the development and testing of interventions to improve safety. He has led a number of important studies in recent years including: * The PRACTICE study (which investigated the prevalence, nature and causes of prescribing errors in general practices) * The PINCER trial (which demonstrated the effectiveness of a pharmacist-led, IT-based, intervention to help reduce prescribing errors in general practice) * A major evaluation of patient reporting to the UK Yellow Card Scheme (which showed that patient reporting can make a valuable contribution to pharmacovigilance) * The development, piloting and evaluation of a Patient Safety Toolkit for use in general practices Most of the studies have resulted in practical benefits for clinicians and patients. For example: * As result of the PRACTICE study, Tony has led the production of e-learning materials on safe prescribing, which are available on the RCGP website (and have been very positively evaluated): * The intervention developed in the PINCER trial is now being rolled out to hundreds of general practices in England, and features in NICE guidance on Medicines Optimisation * The Patient Safety Toolkit has now been launched on the RCGP website so that it is available to all family practices so that they can access tools to help improve patient safety:
    • Responsible Pharmacist for Clinical Pharmacy Services and Medication Safety at Satakunta Central Hospital
    Ercan Celikkayalar is the responsible pharmacist for Clinical Pharmacy Services and Medication Services and Mediation Safety at Satakunta Central Hospital, Pori, Finland. He is also a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki, Division of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Finland.
    • Internal Medicine
    • Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
    Jerry Avorn, M.D. is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Avorn did his undergraduate work at Columbia University, received the M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1974, and completed a residency in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Hospital. He joined the HMS faculty in 1978. While at the B.I., he was certified in Geriatric Medicine and helped to establish the Harvard Medical School program on aging, building a research program on the use and outcomes of medications in the elderly. His research group was among the first to use large electronic datasets of medication use and clinical outcomes, beginning in the early 1980s. His current work centers on the intended and adverse outcomes of prescription drugs, physician prescribing practices, and medication policy. The Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics he founded currently includes 60 people, comprising 17 faculty members representing clinicians from various medical specialties, epidemiologists, lawyers, health services researchers, and biostatisticians, as well as programmers, graduate students, and reseasrch support staff. Dr. Avorn originated the “academic detailing” approach to continuing medical education, in which non-commercial, evidence-based information about drugs is provided to doctors through educational outreach programs run by public-sector sponsors. He has served as a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Standards for Developing Trustworthy Clinical Practice Guidelines and is the author or co-author of over 500 papers in the medical literature on medication use and its outcomes, and of the book, Powerful Medicines: The Benefits, Risks, and Costs of Prescription Drugs, now in its 11th printing. In 2015 he was recognized as one of the most highly cited reseaerchers in medicine and social sciences (epidemiology).
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