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Introduction and Rationale

This website offers guidance for building a Learning Health System (LHS), focusing on tools, models and frameworks that might be helpful. However, it is not a “how to” guide. Indeed, there is no model for building an LHS that can be “lifted and shifted”. LHSs are complex by nature, and must be co-designed with local stakeholders.

We aim to refresh “The Potential of Learning Healthcare Systems” [1] which was published in 2015.  Here, we supplement the interviews and workshops conducted for that report with five new expert workshops, a purposeful literature review and six more years of experience building LHSs.

Figure A provides a framework for thinking about the components of an LHS and this is mirrored by the sections of the report. This first section describes how a group of stakeholders might determine their Rationale for developing an LHS (the outer ring of Figure A). The next section discusses the Technical Building Blocks of an LHS (the hub of Figure A). Next, we explain why Understanding and Managing Complexity in an LHS is about more than just technology (the ring marked ‘Complexity’). The final main section explains the key Strategic Considerations in an LHS (the ring second from the outside).

An LHS can operate at any scale, from a team to a small provider organisation, or from a regional group of organisations to a national or even international system. [2] The elements considered in this report are relevant at each scale, as illustrated by Figure A.

Figure A The Learning Health System Framework.