Learning Health Systems descriptive image, showing the cycle of how research allows the systematic gathering and creation of evidence, of which the most promising can be incorporated into practice which in turn generates data. The cycle starts again as the new data and additional research feed back into evidence.

Learning Health Systems (LHS) was first envisioned by the Institute of Medicine in 2001 and later defined as: A system in which science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned for continuous improvement and innovation, with best practices seamlessly embedded in the care process, patients and families as active participants in all elements, and new knowledge is captured as an integral by-product of the care experience.  (IOM, Best Care at Lower Cost, 2012).


To learn more about learning health systems, please visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s page dedicated to this topic, as well as their core LHS competencies.

Learning Health Systems Science Research

LHS researchers are embedded within health systems and work with operational leaders and front-line staff to identify research questions highly relevant to the health system and conduct robust research to answer those questions and disseminate findings.

Our vision for scholars within this program is that they will have competency and experience in each of these evidentiary sources (studies, evidence, health system generated data and patient experience) and will be tightly anchored to the needs and language of health systems and their communities. This will ensure that our scholars are fluent in the linking skills it takes to not only generate data but bring evidence to practice, evaluate its success in and across health systems, and meet the operational needs of the health system in knowing what works and why.