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 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:
- CDS Connect
Using clinical decision support to move evidence into practice. Read a project summary (PDF File, 75 KB).
Advancing heart health in primary care practices. Read a project summary (PDF File, 91 KB).
- Comparative Health Systems Performance Initiative
Understanding characteristics of high-performing health systems. Read a project summary (PDF File, 39 KB).
- Learning Health System Competencies & Training
Training the next generation of researchers. Read a project summary (PDF File, 40 KB).
- Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program
Accelerating the adoption of evidence-based practices to prevent healthcare-associated infections. Read a project summary (PDF File, 49.2 KB).
- Measures for Quality Improvement:
- AHRQ Research Summit on Learning Health Systems and Executive Summary.
- AHRQ Views Blogs:
- Widening the Circle of Support for Learning Health Systems.
- AHRQ and the National Academy of Medicine: A Shared Enthusiasm for Learning Health Systems.
- Momentum Is Building for Health Systems That "Learn".
- Bringing Moneyball to Medicine.
- You’re Invited: Join Our Conversation about Learning Health Care Systems.
- AHRQ’s Request for Information in the Federal Register on Learning Health Systems.
AHRQ sought information from healthcare delivery organizations about challenges they face and solutions they implement as they become learning healthcare systems and how AHRQ can assist them.
- Accelerating Progress Towards Continuous Learning: A National Academy of Medicine Meeting Summary (PDF File, 366.2 KB)
This AHRQ-sponsored meeting examined where the United States is in terms of progressing toward a LHS and considered key actions to accelerate progress toward achieving continuous learning.
- AHRQ and PCORI Learning Health Systems Mentored Career Development Program (K12).
- Health Information Technology to Improve Health Care Quality and Outcomes (R21).
Page originally created September 2017