Adapting an Interdisciplinary Learning Health System Framework for Academic Health Centers: A Scoping Review

Academic Article


  • Purpose Learning health systems (LHSs), defined as a systematic process for aligning science, informatics, and clinical practice to integrate providers, researchers, and patients as active participants in an evidence-based care continuum, can provide an ideal environment for academic health centers to rapidly adopt evidence-based guidelines and translate research into practice. However, few LHS frameworks are specifically adapted for academic health centers. The authors wanted to identify the definitions, components, and other features of LHSs to develop an interdisciplinary LHS framework for use within academic health centers. Method The authors conducted a scoping review of the literature to identify definitions, components, and other features of LHSs that are useful to academic health centers. In January 2021, they searched PubMed, Academic Search Premier, and Scopus databases and identified English-language, peer-reviewed articles pertaining to LHS, LHS frameworks, organization, components, and models. Since the phrase learning health system is relatively new terminology, they conducted a supplemental review with alternative phrases, including embedded research and coordinated or collaborative research network. They used the Knowledge to Action (KTA) Framework to integrate the generation and flow of research into practice. Results The primary review retrieved 719 articles and the supplemental review retrieved 209; of these, 49 articles were retained to synthesize common definitions, components, and other features of LHS frameworks. Seven structural components of LHSs were identified: organization and collaborations, performance, ethics and security, scientific approaches, data, information technology, and patient outcomes. An adapted interdisciplinary LHS framework was developed that incorporated research and learning engines derived from the KTA and adaptations of common components and other features within the reviewed articles to fit the interests of providers, researchers, and patients within academic health centers. Conclusions The adapted LHS framework can be used as a dynamic foundation for development and organization of interdisciplinary LHSs within academic health centers.
  • Published In

  • Academic Medicine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 25770024
  • Author List

  • Anderson JL; Mugavero MJ; Ivankova NV; Reamey RA; Varley AL; Samuel SE; Cherrington AL
  • Start Page

  • 1564
  • End Page

  • 1572
  • Volume

  • 97
  • Issue

  • 10