LHSNet focuses on improving patient-centered clinical care through translational research

The Learning Health System Network (LHSNet) represents a collaboration of nine health-related organizations and nearly 10 million patients. The network - among the first of its kind nationally - is focused on improving patient-centered clinical care through research.

For the first time, members of LHSNet have outlined how their work can serve as an emerging resource for translational research.

Full details of the network's findings, including governance, organizational structure, key milestones, challenges, and opportunities - appear in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science. L.J. Finney Rutten of the Mayo Clinic serves as lead author of the publication.

The LHSNet includes six health systems (Mayo Clinic, Allina Health System, Essentia Health, Intermountain Health Care, University of Michigan, and Ohio State University); one health plan (Medica Research Institute); one data partner based in a university (Arizona State University); and one local public health department (Olmsted County Public Health Services).

"The Medica Research Institute brings to the network its expertise in linking administrative claims data to data sourced from electronic health records, as well as engaging stakeholders from the payer community and identifying research topics that contribute to the understanding of value-based care," says Kristina Bloomquist, executive director of the Medica Research Institute. "LHSNet's focus on learning health-care systems fits with our goal of conducting translational research and is a key reason we joined the network."

Says Glenn Flores, Distinguished Chair in Health Policy Research at the Medica Research Institute and contributing author: "A key feature of LHSNet is its integration of key stakeholders in health care. This collaboration ensures that our research will contribute to clinical outcomes that closely align with patients' priorities."

LHSNet has outlined several key milestones, many of which have been achieved. These milestones focus on:

  • streamlining federal research design requirements
  • increasing data linkage for electronic health records and claims data from 1 million to 3 million lives
  • data-mapping among each member site
  • executing a basic data query across sites
  • developing computable phenotypes for identifying condition-specific cohorts
  • validating cases for three disease cohorts: obesity, heart failure, and osteogenesis imperfecta

"LHSNet has demonstrated the ability to engage with patients in both the governance of our network and in our research design," says Flores. "Our work holds promise for research efforts that are meaningful to patients, caregivers, and clinicians."

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