The Division of Clinical Informatics, created over 45 years ago by Drs. Howard Bleich and Warner Slack, was among the first academic divisions in the world to concentrate on the use of computers for patient care, teaching, and medical research.

The goals of the Division have been to improve the quality and reduce the cost of medical care, to enhance the quality of medical education, to improve the relationship between doctor and patient, and to explore innovative approaches to research through computing.

Beginning in 1976 the faculty and staff of the Division designed, developed, implemented and studied hospital-wide, integrated computing systems for doctors, other clinicians, and students that would give the results of diagnostic studies immediately upon request; offer access to the biomedical literature with PaperChase (the first program of its kind, which in turn gave rise to a new field of literature searching and spawned numerous derivative programs); offer advice, consultation, alerts and reminders; assist with communication by electronic mail (with the Division’s home-grown system, which was the first e-mail to be installed in a clinical facility); assist with order entry; and assist in the day-to-day practice of medicine, both for inpatient and ambulatory care.

Dr. Warner V. Slack, 1933 – 2018

Warner-terminalsIt is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our co-founder, Dr. Warner Slack.  Our Division, our hospital, our professional community owes more to his pioneering work and gentlemanly demeanor than is possible to summarize here.

We treasure his every wise word and will make it a part of our mission to continue to spread his vision of healthcare and patient empowerment. We thank Warner (and his wonderful family) for being a great colleague, mentor and friend.  We will miss him every day.

In lieu of flowers, Warner’s family has requested people wanting to honor him contribute to the Dr. Warner Slack Scholarship in Clinical Informatics here at BIDMC.  To do this visit https://www.bidmc.org/give and select the Scholarship under Gift Designation.

You may also share a reflection message on the website we set up in Warner’s honor here:

Send a Message for Warner

Thank you.