Lawrence Weed

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Lawrence Weed
Born(1923-12-26)December 26, 1923
Troy, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 3, 2017(2017-06-03) (aged 93)
Alma materHamilton College (New York)
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
OccupationPhysician, researcher, educator, author
Laura Brooks
(m. 1952; died 1997)

Lawrence Leonard Weed (December 26, 1923 – June 3, 2017)[1] was an American physician, researcher, educator, entrepreneur and author, who is best known for creating the problem-oriented medical record as well as one of the first electronic health records.[2]


Born in Troy, New York, he graduated from Hamilton College and, later, the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1947 and pursued a career in academic medicine.[3] He retired as an Emeritus Professor of the University of Vermont.


Dividing his time between research, patient care and teaching, he developed a method which reorganized the structure of the medical record from being divided into the different sources for patient records (x-rays, prescriptions, physician notes) to one structured around a well-defined list of a patient's medical problems.[3]

He first published about the problem-oriented medical record in 1964,[4] but a 1968 article published by the New England Journal of Medicine introduced the concept to a broader audience.[5][6] In the late 1960s and early 1970s he gave lectures at medical schools around the country,[7] and published a book that described the problem-oriented medical record in more detail.[8]

Over 2,000 academic articles and numerous medical textbooks discuss Weed's problem-oriented medical record, and it has become a central component of medical and nursing education.[9] His original idea for a patient problem list was adapted and put into law in the “meaningful use” requirements of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which promoted the adoption of electronic health records in the United States.[10][11]

He also helped develop PROMIS, a computerized medical information system based on the problem-oriented record, which used a touch screen;[12] introduced in 1969, that system was one of the earliest versions of an electronic medical record.[2] He launched a company PKC, which developed methods for clinical information management systems. In 2012, the firm was purchased by Sharecare.[13]


Weed was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in May 1972[14] and would later receive the Gustav O. Leinhard Award from the Institute of Medicine for his contribution of the problem-oriented medical record to the field of medicine.[15] He was a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics.[16]

  • 1995 Gustav O. Lienhard Award, Institute of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
  • 1991 Computers in Healthcare Health Care Pioneer for: Contributions to the development of the healthcare information systems industry.
  • 1984 ACMI (American College of Medical Informatics) Founding Fellow.
  • 1978 Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Medical Administrators.
  • 1976 Monsour Medical Foundation Teaching Award, Health Education & Media Association.
  • 1973 First Brookdale Award in Medicine, AMA National Convention.
  • 1972 Elected Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • 1971 Gerald Lambert Award for Innovation in Health Care.


  1. ^ Grimes, William (June 21, 2017). "Dr. Lawrence Weed, Pioneer in Recording Patient Data, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Lohr, Steve. "The 'Miracle' of Digital Health Records, 50 Years Ago". Bits Blog. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  3. ^ a b Wright, Adam; Sittig, Dean F.; McGowan, Julie; Ash, Joan S.; Weed, Lawrence L. (2014-12-01). "Bringing science to medicine: an interview with Larry Weed, inventor of the problem-oriented medical record". Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 21 (6): 964–968. doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2014-002776. ISSN 1527-974X. PMC 4215056. PMID 24872343.
  4. ^ Weed, L. L. (1964-06-01). "Medical Records, Patient Care, and Medical Education". Irish Journal of Medical Science. 462 (6): 271–282. doi:10.1007/BF02945791. ISSN 1863-4362. PMID 14160426.
  5. ^ Weed, L. L. (1968-03-14). "Medical records that guide and teach". The New England Journal of Medicine. 278 (11): 593–600. doi:10.1056/NEJM196803142781105. ISSN 0028-4793. PMID 5637758.
  6. ^ Weed, L. L. (1968-03-21). "Medical records that guide and teach". The New England Journal of Medicine. 278 (12): 652–657 concl. doi:10.1056/NEJM196803212781204. ISSN 0028-4793. PMID 5637250.
  7. ^ "Larry Weed's 1971 Grand Rounds at Emory University" (video). Via YouTube.
  8. ^ Weed, Lawrence L. (1971). Medical Records, Medical Education, and Patient Care: The Problem-Oriented Medical Record as a Basic Tool. Cleveland, Ohio: Press of Case Western Reserve University.
  9. ^ Wright, Adam; Sittig, Dean F.; McGowan, Julie; Ash, Joan S. ; Weed, Lawrence L. (2015). "Bringing Science to Medicine: An Interview with Larry Weed, Inventor of the Problem-Oriented Medical Record", in: Wright (Ed.), Clinical Problem Lists in the Electronic Health Record. Oakville, Ontario, Canada: Apple Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-77188-091-6. pp. 2-18; here: p. 14. Also published online via PubMed Central. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  10. ^ Holmes, Casey (April 6, 2011). "The Problem List beyond Meaningful Use". Journal of AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association). Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  11. ^ Wright, Adam, et al. (August 2012). "Use of an Electronic Problem List by Primary Care Providers and Specialists". Journal of General Internal Medicine. Vol. 27(8). pp. 968–973. Published online March 17, 2012, via PubMed Central. doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2033-5. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  12. ^ Grady, Mary L. (May 1993). Automated Data Sources for Ambulatory Care Effectiveness Research. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. p. 3. ISBN 9780788122491. Also reprinted by Diane Publishing, 2004; ISBN 9780788122491.
  13. ^ "Sharecare Announces the Acquisition of PKC Corporation". Sharecare. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
  14. ^ National Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Engineering (1975). Annual Report 1971-1972. Washington, DC: National Academies. p. 333.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Past Recipients of the Gustav O. Lienhard Award - Institute of Medicine". Retrieved 2015-12-21.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Lawrence Weed - Rutgers Medical Informatics History Project". Retrieved 2016-01-06.