Brent James is known internationally for his work in clinical quality improvement, patient safety, and the infrastructure that underlies successful improvement efforts, such as culture change, data systems, payment methods, and management roles. He is a member of the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine (and participated in many of that organization's seminal works on quality and patient safety).
Dr. James was recently recognized for his pioneering work in applying quality improvement techniques that were originally developed by W. Edwards Deming and others and awarded the 2011 Deming Cup. The award is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions in the area of operations and has established a culture of continuous improvement within his or her respective organization. Dr. James was instrumental in helping create and implement a "system" model at Intermountain, in which physicians study process and outcomes data to determine the types of care that are most effective.
He holds faculty appointments at the University of Utah School of Medicine (Family Medicine and Biomedical Informatics), Harvard School of Public Health (Health Policy and Management), and the University of Sydney (Australia) School of Public Health.
Brent James is the chief quality officer and executive director of the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research at Intermountain Healthcare based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Through the Intermountain Advanced Training Program in Clinical Practice Improvement (ATP), he has trained more than 3500 senior physician, nursing, and administrative executives, drawn from around the world, in clinical management methods with proven improvement results (and more than 30 "daughter" training programs in six countries). Before coming to Intermountain, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health, providing statistical support for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG); and staffed the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer.
He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in computer science (electrical engineering) and medical biology; an M.D. degree (with residency training in general surgery and oncology); and a Master of Statistics degree. Dr. James serves on several nonprofit boards of trustees, dedicated to clinical improvement.
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