Health Affairs October 21, 2021
Blackford Middleton, Matthew Burton, Christopher J. Tignanelli, John D. Halamka, Sandy Schneider, Michael Barr, Pawan Goyal

Health quality advocates have championed the idea of a Learning Health System for decades as the theoretical key to translating clinical research into clinical practice guidelines for use at the point of care.

A Learning Health System is a closed loop that melds current evidence and clinical experience to promote continuous improvement. It supports clinical decision making, assesses outcomes, and delivers new guidelines into clinical practice. As the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality puts it, “As a result [of the Learning Health System], patients get higher quality, safer, more efficient care, and health care delivery organizations become better places to work.”

This new clinical decision support model maintains traditional clinical rigor but also takes advantage of data science methods, artificial...

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