Saul J. Weiner, MD

Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Medical Education

Research Interests

Dr. Weiner, an internist and pediatrician, has a primary research interest in exploring and identifying ways to improve how physicians individualize treatment decisions. He has developed the concept of "contextual errors" to describe medical errors that result from failures to identify or take into account factors in patients' lives and circumstances that are relevant to their care. He works with actors who present in physician practices as incognito standardized patients to collect comparative data on physician decision making under various conditions. He is developing and evaluating educational interventions to train health care providers to integrate patient context with research evidence when planning patient care.
 
Dr. Weiner also conducts research on access to care with a particular interest in the relationship between large bureaucratic health care providers and the medically uninsured seeking care. His work in this area was supported through the Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program. Most recently Dr. Weiner embarked with UIC colleagues on several studies that explore the impact of patients' ethnicity on how they respond to questions related to their health and experiences with health care.  He currently receives funding as a principal investigator from the Veterans Administration, and as a co-investigator from the National Board of Medical Examiners, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Recent and Noteworthy Publications

Weiner SJ, Schwartz A, Sharma G, Binns-Calvey A, Ashley N, Kelly B, Dayal A, Patel S, Weaver FM, Harris I. Patient-centered decision making and health care outcomes: an observational study. Ann Intern Med. 2013 Apr 16;158(8):573-9.

Schwartz A, Weiner SJ, Binns-Calvey A. Comparing announced with unannounced standardized patients in performance assessment. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2013 Feb;39(2):83-8.

Weiner SJ, Schwartz A, Cyrus K, Binns-Calvey A, Weaver F, Sharma G, Yudkowsky R. Unannounced standardized patient assessment of the roter interaction analysis system: the challenge of measuring patient-centered communication.J Gen Intern Med. 2013 Feb;28(2):254-60. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Schwartz A, Weiner SJ, Weaver F, Goldberg J, Yudkowsky R, Sharma G, Binns-Calvey A, Preyss B, Jordan N. Uncharted territory: measuring costs of diagnostic erros outside the medical recors. BMJ Qual Saf. 2012 Nov;21(11):918-24. Epub 2012 Jul 7.

Schwartz A. Weiner SJ, Harris I, Binns-Calvey A. An educational intervention for contextualizing patient care and medical students’ abilities to probe for contextual issues in simulated patients. 2010 Sep 15. JAMA. 304(11):1191-1197.

Schwartz A. Weiner SJ, Harris I, Binns-Calvey A. An educational intervention for contextualizing patient care and medical students’ abilities to probe for contextual issues in simulated patients. 2010 Sep 15. JAMA. 304(11):1191-1197.

Weiner SJ, Schwartz A, Weaver F, Goldberg J, Yudkowsky R, Sharma G, et al. Contextual errors and failures in individualizing patient care: A multicenter study. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(2):69-75.

Rhee Y, Belmonte F, Weiner SJ. An urban school based comparative study of experiences and perceptions differentiating public health insurance eligible immigrant families with and without coverage for their children. J Immigr Minor Health. 2009 Jun;11(3):222-8.

Kertesz S, Weiner SJ. Housing the chronically homeless: high hopes, complex realities [editorial]. JAMA. 2009;301(17):1822-1824.

Weiner SJ. Contextual error. In: Kattan MW, ed. Encyclopedia of Medical Decision Making. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications. 2009.

Weiner SJ. Medical error. In: Mullner R, ed. Encyclopedia of Health Services Research. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications. 2009.

Weiner S, VanGeest J, Abrams R, Moswin R, Warnecke R. Managing the unmanaged: a case study of intra-institutional determinants of uncompensated care at healthcare institutions with differing ownership models. Med Care. 2008 Aug;46(8):821-828.

Weiner SJ, Auster S. From empathy to caring: defining the ideal approach to a healing relationship. Yale J Biol Med. 2007 Sep;80(3):123-30.

VanGeest JB, Weiner SJ, Johnson TP, Cummins DS. Impact of managed care on physicians’ decisions to manipulate reimbursement rates. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2007;12(3):147-152.

Weiner SJ, Schwartz A, Yudkowsky R, Schiff GD, Weaver FM, Goldberg J, Weiss KB. Evaluating physician performance at individualizing care: a pilot study tracking contextual errors in medical decision making. Med Decis Making. 2007;8(4):726-734.

Weiner SJ, VanGeest J, LaPorte M, Abrams R, Moswin A, Warnecke R. Avoiding free care at all costs: a survey of uninsured patients choosing not to seek emergency services at an urban county hospital. J Urban Health. 2006 March;83(2):244-252.

Weiner SJ, Barnet B, Cheng TL, Daaleman TP. Processes for effective communication in primary care. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142:709-714.

Weiner SJ. From research evidence to context: the challenge of individualizing care. Evid Based Med. 2004;9:132-133.

Weiner SJ. Contextualizing medical decisions to individualize care: lessons from the qualitative sciences. J Gen Intern Med. 2004;19(3):283-287.

Weiner SJ, LaPorte M, Abrams R, Moswin A, Warnecke R. Rationing access to care to the medically uninsured: the role of bureaucratic front line discretion at large healthcare institutions. Med Care. 2004;42(4):298-304.