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Founder of the HELP System and the Utah Medical Informatics Program: 2005 Interview of Homer R. Warner, Sr.
Homer R. Warner, MD, PhD, was a cardiologist who pioneered many aspects of using computers to augment the practice of medicine, including clinical decision support tools.
INTERVIEWED BY DEAN SITTIG
MAY 16, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
Homer R. Warner was born in 1922 at the Latter Day Saints (LDS) Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and went on to create that hospital’s first cadiovascular diagnostic laboratory in 1954. In 1964, Dr. Warner originally founded and became the first Chair of the Biophysics and Bioengineering department in the College of Engineering, which was renamed and relocated to the School of Medicine in 1972. In 1985, it became the first “medical informatics” departmentin the United States. In 2006, the department was renamed Biomedical Informatics. Dr. Warner and his colleagues developed the HELP (Health Education through Logical Processing) system, which is still in use today at Intermountain Healthcare. He wrote numerous landmark papers and books in the field of medical informatics. Dr. Warner received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of Utah and a doctorate degree in physiology from the University of Minnesota. In 1994, he was the second recipient of the Morris F. Collen Award of Excellence. The Homer R. Warner award, named in his honor, is presented each year at the AMIA Fall Symposium for the paper that best describes approaches to improving computerized information acquisition, knowledge data acquisition and management, and experimental results documenting the value of these approaches. Dr. Warner’s legacy of excellence and innovation has persisted, and the Department remains a leader in informatics research, training, and implementation. To illustrate his contribution to informatics applied to medicine, on the patent called “Rules-based patient care system for use in healthcare locations” issued on January 1, 2008, the references list includes seven works on which he collaborated. Dr. Warner died, at age 90, on November 30, 2012, after a brief illness.