Headshot of Kathryn McDonald.

Kathryn McDonald

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Systems, Quality, and Safety


School of Nursing
525 N Wolfe St
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

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Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Systems, Quality, and Safety

Research Interests: 

  • Patient safety
  • Health care quality
  • Health equity

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.