What is a learning healthcare organization?

A Learning Healthcare System is a system in which, "science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned for continuous improvement and innovation, with best practices seamlessly embedded in the delivery process and new knowledge captured as an integral by-product of the delivery experience."
Learning healthcare organizations demonstrate both an ability to use 'external evidence' (arising from the study of populations other than one's own) and an ability to use 'internal evidence' (about what works best in one's own context).  They use this evidence to generate hypotheses, strategically apply change to clinical and operational practices and evaluate the impact of the change on outcomes and behaviours. Characteristics of a health system that can learn include:
  • Every patient's characteristics and experience are available for study
  • Best practice knowledge is immediately available to support decisions
  • Improvement is continuous through ongoing study (closed loop)
  • Inquiry happens routinely and economically
  • Curiosity and inquiry is valued and embedded in organizational culture
Connect Care in-system reporting and analytics tools will provide AHS staff and stakeholders with the ability to create and use real time data about patients, populations and the health system as a whole.  This data can then be transformed into information that guides evidence-informed decisions in service of continuous clinical improvement.