Robert Wears passing

Ruth Ryan ruth at RYAN-GRAHAM.COM
Tue Jul 18 18:15:10 UTC 2017


If anyone knows how to contact the Wears family, collecting up these comments would be a comfort and a service to them.  Ruth

From: Karen Cosby [mailto:kcosby40 at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 11:41 AM
To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] Robert Wears passing

It's hard to know what to say to give justice to Bob's impact on patient safety, and me personally.  Bob was a wonderful mentor.  He had keen insights and a deep understanding of how things work, a brilliant capacity for words, and a clever wit.  But mostly he was a genuinely warm and giving person.  He made a significant impact on me both personally and professionally.  He pushed me to network and encouraged working relationships with people I might otherwise have never felt worthy to approach.  I've heard it said that the true measure of a leader is not in their own accomplishments as much as in the accomplishments of those they enable and empower.  I am terribly saddened, but very grateful to have met and known Bob. His impact on patient safety will be enduring.

On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 10:43 AM, Henriksen, Kerm (AHRQ/CQuIPS) <Kerm.Henriksen at ahrq.hhs.gov<mailto:Kerm.Henriksen at ahrq.hhs.gov>> wrote:
Very nicely and aptly stated, Mark.

Kerm Henriksen, PhD
Senior Advisor, Human Factors and Patient Safety
Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857

e-mail:   Kerm.Henriksen at ahrq.hhs.gov<mailto:Kerm.Henriksen at ahrq.hhs.gov>
phone:   (301) 427-1331<tel:(301)%20427-1331>
fax:        (301) 427-1341<tel:(301)%20427-1341>

From: Mark Graber [mailto:Mark.Graber at IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG<mailto:Mark.Graber at IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG>]
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 7:55 AM
To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG<mailto:IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG>
Subject: [IMPROVEDX] Robert Wears passing

We were informed yesterday of Dr Robert Wears death within the past few days.

Bob was an internationally-known and widely-published authority on patient safety and contributed significantly to efforts to address diagnostic error.

Bob was one of the attendees at a meeting of a few people in Naples FL in 2006, where we discussed diagnostic error as a real problem.  More than any other event, this meeting marked the start of the diagnostic error ‘movement’.   The Diagnostic Error in Medicine Conference was proposed at that meeting, and the proceedings were the first compilation of articles to discuss the problem (attached).  Bob studied with Charles Vincent, and will be remembered as one of the true scholars in trying to apply the principles of safety engineering to medical practice, and work in the Emergency Department in particular.  Bob pushed us to think more deeply about safety and safety solutions, and his writings on resiliency, complexity, and how to learn about safety are foundational in our field.  Two of my favorite papers from Bob are attached, including his now-classic description of diagnostic error as a ‘wicked’ problem.

His wisdom and unique perspective will be truly missed.

  Mark

Mark L Graber, MD FACP
President, SIDM
Senior Fellow, RTI International
Professor Emeritus, Stony Brook University, NY

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