Robert J Romanelli , Kristen M J Azar, Sylvia Sudat , Dorothy Hung , Dominick L Frosch, Alice R Pressman, Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2020.10.004. Online ahead of print, 2020 Oct 29
Kristen Azar, R.N., BSN, MSN/MPH, Investigator, Sylvia Sudat, PhD
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is the gravest public-health crisis that the United States has seen in more than a century. Healthcare delivery systems are the focal point for interfacing with COVID-19; however, many were and remain unprepared for this or similar outbreaks.
In this paper, we describe the Learning Health System (LHS) as an ideal organizing principle to inform an evidence-based response to public-health emergencies like COVID-19. We further describe barriers and challenges to the realization of the LHS and propose a call to action for a substantial investment in the LHS, with a focus on public health.
Specifically, we advocate for a Learning Health Network that promotes collaboration between health systems, community-based organizations, and government agencies, especially during public health emergencies. We have approached this commentary through the unique lens of researchers embedded within a large, integrated healthcare delivery system, with direct experience working with clinical and operational units in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.