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At the heart of a Learning Health System is a multidisciplinary team bringing together the right people, skills, specialisms and subject matter expertise. The nature of the work will determine the make-up of this team, but a multidisciplinary Learning Health System could include patients, clinicians, researchers, designers, strategy and operational delivery staff, information analysts and other support professions. The team may not all be directly employed; some might be seconded, some could be contractors or consultants, while others may be employed by platform providers. Leadership within each of these groups and organisational leadership understanding and buy-in will also be essential, given the scope of a Learning Health System [151].

Learning Health Systems are unlikely to reduce the number of clinical professionals required. Indeed, many of the same skill categories will continue to be required, but the content of those skills and the context in which they are applied may differ in the following ways [152]:

  • Communication skills: These will need to extend to online modes
  • Personal and people development: Professionalism, teaching, personalised lifelong learning, management and leadership will take on new dimensions
  • Health, safety and security: Online issues, cybersecurity, information governance and digital ethics will become more important
  • Service improvement: As services become more digitised, staff will need the skills to optimise these systems
  • Clinical effectiveness: Staff will need to understand the theoretical frameworks underpinning clinical assessments, investigations and interventions that utilise technology
  • Equality and diversity: Digital inclusion will be central to accessing care

Clinicians may also need some new skills. They may need to:

  • Become more aware of how the data they record might be used by the system [153]
  • Be able to interpret results of routine data analytics [7, 40, 49].
  • Become more confident with an element of research in their role [40]
  • Be capable of leveraging data from non-healthcare system sources [153]
  • Be able to interpret and act upon feedback on their practice [23]
  • Be able to live with continual change [153]

These needs have been captured by the Faculty of Clinical Informatics Competency Framework [154].

Many of the skills and disciplines required to develop a Learning Health System are in short supply and take many years to develop, so the Learning Health System should be part of a long-term workforce or people strategy.