David W. Bates, MD, MSc, Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine at Partners HealthCare System

David W. Bates, MD, MSc

Dr. David Westfall Bates is the Medical Director of Clinical and Quality Analysis, Information Systems at Partners HealthCare System, Inc. Dr. Bates is Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he is the Co-Director of the Program in Clinical Effectiveness. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and External Program Leader, Patient Safety Research, WHO World Health Alliance for Patient Safety, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Bates is the Executive Director of the Brigham and Women’s Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice that focuses on improving medication safety across the continuum of care and patient groups.

At a time when patient safety has become a key driver for focusing national attention on health-care quality, Dr. Bates’ work has not only shown the magnitude of the problem but also provided a blueprint for helping solve it. He led a seminal study on the epidemiology of drug-related injuries, demonstrating that the most effective way to prevent serious medication errors is to focus on improving the systems. He has also performed many studies on how computerized, evidence-based guidelines can improve quality and efficiency. Dr. Bates has been recognized for several years by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the “100 most powerful” individuals in U.S. health care.

Dr. Bates received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemistry from Stanford University, a Doctorate of Medicine from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a Masters of Science in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.  After his residency training in Internal Medicine at Oregon Health Services University in Portland, he completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in medicine at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. In 1987, Dr. Bates held a faculty position at the Oregon Health Sciences University, and then joined the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 1988.

Dr. Bates’ primary informatics focus concerns the use of information technology to measure and improve the quality of care within the field of medication safety. He has completed extensive research evaluating the incidence and prevention of adverse drug events (ADEs) and clinical decision support. Other areas of research interest include: evaluating the impact of patient computing applications, improving provider satisfaction through electronic communications, improving quality of care and cost-effectiveness in electronic communications, and outcomes assessment.

Posted February 2019

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