Learning health networks are powerful laboratories where the use of shared data, quality-improvement methods and social production of knowledge accelerate discovery and translation.
Our interest in learning health networks grew from short-term project work with multiple organizations. We learned that it takes time to develop a foundation for improvement and to have an impact on systems of care for children and families. We recognized that shared infrastructure involving data support, quality-improvement tools and project management could accelerate our ability to catalyze and support change, innovation and improvement.
Learning health networks have adapted the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Breakthrough Series model to build the foundation for sustaining change and improvement. We work with patients, families, multidisciplinary clinical teams and scientists from the sites involved in the network. Teams come together for face-to-face meetings called learning sessions and connect through listserv and monthly calls / webinars. The teams involved in Learning Networks use registries to track data over time.
Teams receive monthly data feedback reports on aggregate and individual progress. These reports serve to identify successful strategies for change and help sites to monitor progress. Using the “all teach, all learn” philosophy, teams discuss reports, address barriers and share what works in learning sessions and monthly webinars.