• Researcher Profile

    Saul N. Weingart, MD, PhD

    Saul N. Weingart, MD, PhD
    Vice President for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

    Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


    Survivorship Clinic (Adult)

    Office phone: 617-632-4935
    Fax: 617-582-8070
    Email: saul_weingart@dfci.harvard.edu

    Preferred contact method: appointment phone

    View Physician Profile

    Research Department

    Medical Oncology/Population Sciences


    Adult primary care, Cancer survivorship, Adult survivors of pediatric cancers

    Area of Research

    Medical Error and Patient Safety

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    1309 Beacon St. 3rd Fl.
    Boston, MA 02215


    Dr. Weingart received an MD from the University of Rochester and a PhD in public policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in general medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. He practices internal medicine at BIDMC, where he was Director of Patient Safety in the Division of General Medicine and also served as Medical Director of Patient Safety for CareGroup Healthcare System. He sees adult survivors of pediatric cancers in DFCI's Perini and Lance Armstrong Foundation Clinics. He serves as the vice president for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety and director of the Center for Patient Safety at DFCI.


    Medical Error and Patient Safety

    Our research focuses on improving the quality of health care by reducing the prevalence and burden of medical error. We developed a voluntary reporting method for medical error that uses structured peer interviews, and tested this approach with nurses and house officers on the general medicine, general surgery, oncology, cardiology, and medical intensive care units of a teaching hospital. .

    In studies analyzing the impact of computerized physician order-entry on medication safety among outpatients, we discovered that adverse drug events affect 25% of primary care patients and that improved patient-physician communication accounts for the largest category of ameliorable events. Although we found problems in several studies with the current design of electronic medication alerts, these alerts prevent many serious adverse events each year.

    Our current research seeks to understand the role that patients and families play in identifying and preventing adverse events. In several projects, we collected and analyzed incident reports submitted by medical inpatients and ambulatory oncology patients. We studied the impact of patient participation on the prevalence of adverse events among hospitalize patients. We developed and tested patient partnership initiatives to enhance the accuracy of medication information and to encourage the use of team training techniques. We have an ongoing interest in the risks associated with the use of oral chemotherapy, and in interventions that support safe medication administration in the home. We are also conducting pilot studies that explore the opportunities for shared care represented by patient Internet portals.

    Select Publications

    • Gandhi TK, Weingart SN, Borus J, Seger AC, Peterson J, Burdick E, Seger DL, Shu K, Federico F, Leape LL, Bates DW. Adverse drug events in ambulatory care. N Engl J Med 2003;348:1556-64.
    • Weingart SN, Toth M, Sands DZ, Aronson MD, Davis RB, Phillips RS. Physicians' decision to override computerized drug alerts in primary care. Arch Intern Med 2003;163:2625-31.
    • Weingart SN, Gandhi TK, Seger AC, Seger DL, Borus J, Burdick E, Leape LL, Bates DW. Patient-reported medication symptoms in primary care. Arch Intern Med 2005;165:234-40.
    • Weingart SN, Simchowitz B, Shiman L, Brouillard DB, Cyrulik A, Davis RB, Isaac T, Massagli M, Morway L, Sands DZ, Spencer J, Weissman JS. Clinicians assessments of electronic medication safety alerts in ambulatory care. Arch Intern Med 2009; 169: 1627-32.
    • Weingart SN, Morway L, Brouillard D, Cleary A, Eng TK, Saadeh MG, Seger AC, Bates DW, Leape LL. Rating recommendations for consumers about patient safety: sense, common sense, or nonsense? Jt Comm J Qual Safe 2009; 35: 206-15.
    • Weingart SN, Saadeh MG, Simchowitz B, Gandhi TK, Nekhlyudov L, Studdert DM, Puopolo AL, Shulman LN. Process of care failures in breast cancer diagnosis. J Gen Intern Med 2009; 24: 702-9.
    • Weingart SN, Simchowitz B, Kahlert-Eng T, Morway L, Spencer J, Zhu J, Cleary C, Korman-Parra J, Horvath K. The You CAN campaign: teamwork training for patients and families in ambulatory oncology. Jt Comm J Qual Safe 2009; 35: 63-71.
    • Weingart SN, Flug J, Brouillard D, Morway L, Partridge A, Bartel S, Shulman LN, Connor M. Oral chemotherapy safety practices at US cancer centers: questionnaire survey. BMJ, doi:10.1136/bmj.39069.489757.55 (published 12 January 2007).