Medical Informatics

Michael Weilert, MD is a Medical Informatics consultant that lives in Clovis, California, a suburb of the city Fresno. While he works primarily as a pathologist, one of Dr. Weilert’s specialties is Medical Informatics, or the study to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of information in health and biomedicine.Medical Informatics

Medical informatics began with the application of computer technology to the acquisition storage, reporting and communication of medical information. The clinical laboratory was one of the first areas to adapt this technology, and Dr. Weilert has a long history as a consultant, system developer, and authority in laboratory information systems. More recently, information technology has been applied to the management of most health care information, and the challenge of system design, development and implementation have multiplied. The potential for improving the medical record compared to the traditional paper chart has been tantalizing, but the reality of the new systems have often been to impede rather than to enable improved patient care. New technology including voice recognition, bar code labeling, wireless devices and RFID have all been applied to medical informatics. The challenges now involve effective interfaces for the users, especially physicians, and integration of medical information across different platforms in offices, laboratories, and hospitals while preserving the required confidentiality and integrity of the information. As an authority on the issue of Medical Informatics, Michael Weilert has numerous peer-reviewed publications with his thoughts on the issue, and has also given several presentations at major national conferences.

At his first job after his residency, Michael Weilert was responsible for the implementation of a clinical laboratory information system in a large Midwestern hospital, all on an extremely aggressive time schedule. He later wrote a publication about the experience, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Laboratory Automation in 1983. Throughout the 1990s, Dr. Weilert authored or co-authored numerous other publications. One paper, presented in Switzerland and Australia, was an informatics-based evaluation of the main business of the clinical laboratory. The article argued that the clinical laboratory needs to regard itself in the appropriate way in order to prioritize its investments, and that the distinctive aspects or those differentiating one laboratory from another were more often informatics features, as opposed to issues related to the laboratory testing itself. Another publication, published in Laboratory Medicine in 1999, described an innovative method to provide rapid metabolic testing to ICU and surgery patients through informatics techniques and full-scale laboratory grade analyzers located in the ICU, CCU and surgical wards of a large tertiary care hospital. Over 90% of the results from this experiment were reported within 6 minutes from the start of testing, which was performed in the peripheral locations and validated in the central laboratory.

Back in 1990, Dr. Weilert gave several presentations as a lecturer at the then annual Ann Arbor Symposium on Laboratory Information Systems at the University of Michigan. At the time, this was the premier national meeting devoted to clinical laboratory information and systems. He returned to present at the same event three more times, in 1992, 1995 and 1996. In 1999, Michael Weilert returned to Ann Arbor once again, this time for the annual symposium on automated information management in the clinical laboratory.