Professor of Emergency Medicine, Georgetown University
Founding Director Emeritus, National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare
Dr. Fairbanks is professor of emergency medicine at Georgetown University and VP/Chief Quality & Safety Officer at MedStar Health, a 10-hospital healthcare system in the Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington DC region, and practices emergency medicine at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. Trained in safety science prior to entering medical school, Dr. Fairbanks holds a safety-focused master’s degree in human factors engineering/industrial systems engineering, and founded the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare in 2010. A former paramedic, licensed pilot, EMS Medical Director and EMS regional quality leader, Dr. Fairbanks uses his safety engineering background to apply the science of safety and human factors engineering to medical systems. His research has been funded by the NIH, AHRQ, ONC, and several foundations.
Dr. Fairbanks is a member of the IHI Faculty, and has served on the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Advisors, the UK Health IT Advisory Committee, and in advisory roles for Pew Charitable Trusts, American Medical Association, and for the United States, Spanish, Australian, and British governments. Dr. Fairbanks has authored more than 200 publications and a book on healthcare safety and human factors engineering. He has completed the NPSF/AHA Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship and the Wharton School’s MedStar/Healthy Companies Physician Leadership program, and is recognized internationally for his innovative work in healthcare safety. He has been listed in Becker’s Hospital Review “Top 50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety” and was recently recognized with the 2021 Robert L. Wears Patient Safety Leadership Award and the Medical Society of the District of Columbia’s John Benjamin Nichols Award.