Supporting Learning Health Systems

AHRQ is helping health care delivery organizations evolve as learning health systems to ensure that people across America receive the highest quality, safest, most up-to-date care.


Many health care delivery organizations are challenged to consistently learn from all available evidence and data to provide high quality, safe and efficient care.

  • More than 800,000 medical studies are published each year in the United States, but it takes many years for new clinical information to move from publication to practice.
  • Health care organizations can use existing technology to leverage the millions of electronic health record entries they create each year to learn more about population health and provide better care for the individual patient.

Defining a Learning Health System

In a learning health system, internal data and experience are systematically integrated with external evidence and that knowledge is put into practice. As a result, patients get higher quality, safer, more efficient care, and health care delivery organizations become better places to work.

Learning Health Systems—

  • Have leaders who are committed to a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  • Systematically gather and apply evidence in real-time to guide care.
  • Employ IT methods to share new evidence with clinicians to improve decision-making.
  • Promote the inclusion of patients as vital members of the learning team.
  • Capture and analyze data and care experiences to improve care.
  • Continually assess outcomes refine processes and training to create a feedback cycle for learning and improvement.

AHRQ’s Role

AHRQ conducts research and provides training, tools, and data to help health care delivery organizations of every size move towards becoming learning health systems.

Learn more about AHRQ’s initiatives that are supporting learning health systems:

Additional Resources

Funding Opportunities

 

 

Page last reviewed November 2017
Page originally created September 2017
Internet Citation: Supporting Learning Health Systems. Content last reviewed November 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/learning-health-systems/index.html