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 Medicine, and participated in many of that organization’s seminal works on quality and patient safety. Dr. James is a Fellow of the American College of Physician Executives. He holds faculty appointments at several universities: Clinical Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine (Medicine); Visiting Lecturer, Harvard School of Public Health (Health Policy and Management); Adjunct Professor, University of Utah David Eccles School of Business; and Adjunct Professor, University of Utah School of Medicine (Family Medicine; Biomedical Informatics).
He served for over 30 years as the Chief Quality Officer, and Executive Director of the Institute for Healthcare 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 5,000 senior physician, nursing, and administrative executives, drawn from around the world, in clinical management methods, with proven improvement results (and helped launch and support over 50 “sister” training programs in more than 10 countries). He continues to work vigorously in clinical quality improvement training programs.
He has been honored with many awards for quality in health care delivery. Some of the more recent include: 29th Annual David Packard Award – Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, U.S. Department of Defense, 2014; Deming Cup – Columbia University School of Business, 2011; C. Jackson Grayson Medal, Distinguished Quality Pioneer – American Quality and Productivity Center, 2010; Joint Commission Earnest A. Codman Award, 2006; AHA HRET TRUST Award, 2005; National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Quality Award, 2005; and the American College of Medical Quality Founders’ Award, 1999.
For 8 of first 9 years it existed, he was named among Modern Physician’s “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare.” He was named among the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” (Modern Healthcare) for over 5 years, and Modern Healthcare’s “25 Top Clinical Informaticists”.
Before arriving at Intermountain, he was 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 Cancer & Leukemia, Group B (CALG), and staffed the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science (Electrical Engineering) and Medical Biology, and a Master of Statistics degree and MD (with residency training in general surgery and oncology) from the University of Utah. He serves on several nonprofit boards of trustees dedicated to clinical improvement and patient safety.