Project Summary

In a Learning Network, providers, patients, families, health system administrators and researchers work together to improve outcomes by collaborating on quality improvement and clinical research projects. Preliminary research has demonstrated that Learning Networks are an example of successful healthcare delivery reform. However, not much is known about the process of taking existing healthcare systems and changing them into Learning Networks. Recent work points to the complexity of this process, but without greater understanding of the organizational, cultural, and structural transformations of healthcare systems into Learning Networks, our ability to scale this process—and reach more patients—will be hindered.

The study proposes to increase the understanding of this transformation by conducting a two-year descriptive study of four Patient-Powered Research Networks as they transform into Learning Networks as part of a project run by the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The qualitative data collected in this study will be analyzed inductively to address the following goals:

  • Major aim: Document the transition experience of each network, identifying the similarities and differences
    • Identify the strategies used by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to provide technical support and consulting support to the sites
    • Examine how the transformation to a Learning Network changes the everyday work of providers, patients, researchers, and network leaders within the system
  • Minor aim: Investigate how Learning Networks, as innovative healthcare structures, interface with other entities, such as payers, in the healthcare ecosystem

Project Information

Alexandra Vinson, PhD
University of Michigan

Key Dates

April 2022


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Last updated: March 4, 2022