November 26, 2020

Operationalizing A Learning Community For A Learning Health System: A Practical Guide


This guide is intended as a practical resource that can be used when forming and operationalizing a learning community as part of a learning health system. It was initially developed by contributors from the University of Michigan Department of Learning Health Sciences during the 2019 calendar year based on different experiences with planning and operationalizing LHS learning communities and should be. This guide is intended to be used as a starting point for those interested in forming an LHS learning community. Information and concepts included in this guide can be tailored and modified for use as needed. This guide will continue to be expanded upon as more is learned through future experiences with forming and maintaining learning communities as part of Learning Health System projects. We also envision this guide to eventually become a component of a larger toolkit that can be used for operationalizing entire LHS projects. Included in this guide are detailed descriptions of activities, best practices, challenges and approaches as well as sample tools, templates and resources for operationalizing a learning community for a Learning Health System. For reference and ease of use, this information has been segmented into a framework that represents a phased approach to operationalizing the learning community. As such, the materials in this guide have been organized by policy, technology, process and people components that correspond to each operational phase. The phases are outlined below:

Plan – initial planning activities and tasks that are undertaken prior to starting a learning community

Initiate – activities and tasks involved in initiating a learning community

Implement – activities and tasks involved in operationalizing a learning community

Sustain – activities and tasks involved in sustaining (or re-engaging) a learning community