Rollin J. “Terry” Fairbanks, MD, MS, is the Vice President Quality and Safety at MedStar Health, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University, and Founding Director of the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. A board-certified emergency physician, he practices in the MedStar Washington Hospital Center emergency department. Dr. Fairbanks also holds an academic appointment as adjunct associate professor of Industrial Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo. He earned a bachelors degree in mathematics and physics and a masters degree in industrial systems engineering/human factors engineering, and after medical school he completed specialty training in emergency medicine, the HRET/NPSF Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship, and Wharton’s Physician Leadership Certificate Program at MedStar Health.
Trained in safety science prior to entering the medical field, Dr. Fairbanks is also a former paramedic, EMS medical director, and general aviation pilot, he is known for inspiring people to think differently about healthcare’s approach to quality, safety, and risk. As a member of the MedStar Health Leadership Team, he is responsible for system-wide quality and safety.
Dr. Fairbanks has contributed more than 120 publications to the healthcare quality and safety, human factors engineering and medical literature, and co-edited a book on cognitive systems engineering in healthcare. Dr. Fairbanks has served in many national and international roles, including the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Advisors, the POLITICO Health IT Advisory Forum, AHRQ Patient Safety Network Technical Expert Advisory Panel, and he is a Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) Senior Fellow. He has served in advisory roles for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Medical Association, and has held formal consultative roles with the US, Australian, British, and Spanish governments. In 2017, he was listed by Becker’s Hospital Review in Top 50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety.
- Research Areas
- Critical Care/Emergency Medicine
- Health Services/Quality/Outcomes