Remembering Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Weed, Father of the First EMR
In the sixties Dr. Lawrence L. Weed, M.D. began a federally-funded effort to develop a computerized health record. The sixties! As in 1964. Talk about a man ahead of his time. Apparently we are not the first to make this observation of Dr. Weed. His response to this compliment reveals his impatience with change, “People have been saying to me since the 1960s, ‘You’re ahead of your time,’” he told the journal Modern Healthcare in 2012. “I say, ‘My God, you want me to live until 160? How long are you going to take?’”
This past June healthcare lost Dr. “Larry” Weed, one of its great disruptors. Take some time to read about Dr. Weed’s impressive life and his dedication to improving how healthcare is delivered. Start with Dr. Weed’s obituary and then move on to our collection of articles, videos and podcasts below. We promise it will be worth your time and may even bring you some much needed inspiration during these days of uncertainty.
Remembering Larry Weed (1923-2017)
“Larry Weed mentored hundreds, inspired thousands and entertained tens of thousands.” The Brave New Health Foundation, created to help educate the public about the scope of the problem of diagnostic errors, is working to produce Preventable Harm, a documentary film that was inspired by the life and work of Dr. Weed. As a tribute to him the organization put together a short video to honor Dr. Weed and his ideas.
— IMreasoning (@IMreasoning) July 17, 2017
Podcast – Why Healthcare is Flawed & How to Improve It: The Work of Dr. Lawrence Weed
Dr. Leslie Kernisan (@drkernisan) is a practicing geriatrician with a special interest in family caregivers. She hosts The Better Health While Aging Podcast and in a recent episode Dr. K discusses the flaws of healthcare and how medicine could be improved, per the insights of Dr. Weed.
The patient must have a copy of his own record. He must be involved with organizing and recording the variables so that the course of his own data on disease and treatment will slowly reveal to him what the best care for him should be.” — Dr. Lawrence Weed, “Your Health Care and How to Manage It” (1975)
— Leslie Kernisan, MD (@drkernisan) June 29, 2017
A flawed system
Modern Healthcare presents a brief overview of Dr. Weed’s thoughts on the state of healthcare today and his contributions to it in the past. Weed believed early on we should be using technology to assist doctors and house the numerous amounts of data that no individual human mind can. Weed says, “You use the computer to do what the human mind can’t do. If you want to go to the moon, you can’t have humans doing the calculations.” The article was written in 2013 when Dr. Weed was 89 years old.
The Medical School Brown Bag Lunch that Changed my Life: Remembering my Friend, Larry Weed, MD
Art Papier MD, Founder and CEO VisualDx (@VisualDx), first met Dr. Weed in 1984 at a lecture he attended as a first year medical student. That lecture led to a part-time position evenings and weekends during his med school years with Problem-Knowledge Couplers, a medical software company founded by Dr. Weed. Dr. Papier remembers his mentor and writes of his first hand experiences working with Dr. Weed. “Beyond my awe of Weed’s intellect, early on I appreciated his humility and emphasis on what made a physician. He evaluated students and residents on how they investigated and solved the patients’ problems and not by how many facts they could regurgitate.”
As mentioned above, Art Papier is the Founder and CEO of VisualDx, a point of care desktop and mobile application proven to enhance diagnostic accuracy, aid therapeutic decisions, and improve patient safety. Clearly Dr. Papier’s work and company is inspired by Dr. Weed and Papier works to carry on his friend’s mission. The VisualDx website includes Dr. Weed’s 1971 Internal Medicine Grand Rounds Lecture as recommended viewing for “today’s CMIOs, clinicians, residents, and medical students.”
— Shannon Lavett (@slavett) June 26, 2017