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Kathryn McDonald

Health Systems, Quality and Safety

School of Nursing
Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality & Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, School of Medicine
Bloomberg School of Public Health; Carey Business School; Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare, Whiting School of Engineering

Kathryn McDonald is an international thought leader who focuses on bringing an evidence-based, patient-centered approach to the study of health care delivery. She explores what makes for safe, affordable, and high-quality health care delivery systems and the factors that prevent health organizations from achieving this standard of care.

McDonald develops tools for measuring patient safety and quality that are used by private and public care providers alike. McDonald created a set of standardized health care quality measurements called Quality Indicators, which are used to analyze administrative data from hospitals—including Johns Hopkins—to identify potential quality concerns and track changes over time. She is currently working on an ongoing study that examines the ways that a patient’s age, race, and sex may contribute to errors in medical diagnoses and disparities in patient outcomes. McDonald hopes to understand how “visible factors” put young people, women, and African American people at risk for misdiagnoses of infections, cancer, and cardiovascular issues.

McDonald joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2020 from Stanford University.

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