Robert M. Wachter

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Robert M. Wachter
ResidenceSan Francisco, CA
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania, B.A., University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, MD
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, San Francisco

Robert M. Wachter is a prominent academic physician on the faculty of UCSF, where he is chairman of the Department of Medicine, the Lynne and Marc Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine, and the Holly Smith Distinguished Professor in Science and Medicine. In 2015, Modern Healthcare magazine named him the most influential physician-executive in the United States. Prior to becoming UCSF's 9th chair of medicine, he served as chief of UCSF's Division of Hospital Medicine.

He is generally regarded as the academic leader of the hospitalist movement. Hospitalists are internists and other physicians who specialize in the care of hospitalized patients. He and a colleague, Lee Goldman, are known for coining the term "hospitalist" in a 1996 New England Journal of Medicine article.[1] He is past-president of the Society of Hospital Medicine and past-chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

He is also a noted expert in the field of medical errors and patient safety. He edits the U.S. government's leading patient safety website, AHRQ Patient Safety Network; this site receives approximately 1.5 million visits each year. He has also written two books on safety, Internal Bleeding and Understanding Patient Safety. In 2004, he won the John M. Eisenberg award, the nation's top honor in patient safety.

His book on healthcare technology, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age, was published by McGraw-Hill in 2015, and became a New York Times science bestseller. In 2015-16, he chaired a group advising the National Health Service (England) on its digital strategy. The "Wachter Review," released in September, 2016, was highly influential, prompting the NHS to employ a staged approach to digital implementation, to develop a digital academy to train more clinician-informaticists, and to create a new leadership position, NHS Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO).

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  1. ^ Wachter R, Goldman L (1996). "The emerging role of "hospitalists" in the American health care system". N Engl J Med. 335 (7): 514–7. doi:10.1056/NEJM199608153350713. PMID 8672160.