Project Summary

Background: The ongoing shift from volume to value in US health care, coupled with the availability of vast amounts of clinical data and more sophisticated analytics, has created both the need and the opportunity for healthcare organizations to evolve into learning health systems. Important advances in building a stakeholder-driven platform for accelerating a continuous learning health system stem from a growing national emphasis on patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and comparative effectiveness research (CER). Despite these advances, several challenges to stakeholder-driven PCOR/CER remain: limited awareness among healthcare stakeholders of opportunities to improve system performance through PCOR/CER; methods and tools that can facilitate PCOR/CER in health systems are not often well understood by patients who are served by these systems or the healthcare professionals who work in them; and lack of clearly articulated, stakeholder-driven strategies for accelerating PCOR/CER in health systems.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: To help overcome these barriers, the UPMC Center for High-Value Health Care, the Wolff Center at UPMC, and the project team’s UPMC patient partner will organize and conduct a one-day conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania focused on accelerating stakeholder-driven PCOR/CER in a learning health system.

Objectives: The primary aim of this conference is to increase awareness, understanding, and strategic action among healthcare stakeholders to accelerate PCOR/CER in health systems. The long-term objective of this conference is to further PCORI’s interest in transforming healthcare organizations into a high-functioning learning health system.

Activities: Working in close collaboration with stakeholder partners, the conference will include three moderated panels, a keynote speech, and workshop sessions, leading to a series of conference-related outputs.

Outcomes and Outputs (projected): The primary outcome of this conference will be a strategic roadmap for promoting stakeholder-driven PCOR/CER in health systems in the near term and the transformation to a learning health system over time. A long-term outcome is the identification of additional opportunities for shared learning beyond the conference to evolve healthcare organizations into high-functioning learning health systems. After the conference, the project team will convene its collaborating stakeholder partners and PCORI stakeholder partners to share ideas and create an action plan to support continuous learning.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The other key stakeholder collaborators from the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE), the University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the PaTH Clinical Data Research Network (PaTH CDRN), the Allegheny County Consumer Response Action Team (CART), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) will participate on the monthly conference planning committee to finalize the conference agenda and speakers, identify potential participants, design a marketing strategy, and contribute to the development of project outputs.

Project Collaborators: The UPMC Center for High-Value Health Care, in collaboration with the Wolff Center at UPMC, are leading this project with support from multiple stakeholder partners.

Project Information

James Schuster, MD, MBA^
Tamra Minnier, MSN, RN, FACHE
UPMC Center for High-Value Health Care

Key Dates

October 2019

^William Shrank, MD, MSHS, was the original Project Lead on this study.


Project Status
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Last updated: April 8, 2024