New Learning Health System Framework for the health sector to transform care in COVID and beyond

The Australian healthcare system is under major pressure, but a new Learning Health System framework developed by Monash Partners and Monash University will better connect community priorities with the latest research and health professionals to improve patient care.

The framework, supported by the Victorian Government, has been developed to identify key issues in the healthcare system by involving feedback from not only health professionals and researchers, but also from members of the community.

This will establish a continuous learning cycle with four types of evidence inputs at its core to deliver health impact:

Evidence from community and stakeholders on what is important
Evidence from research on best practice
Evidence from data (practice to data and data to new knowledge)
Evidence from implementation to take new knowledge to practice to improve health

With an estimated 30 per cent of healthcare of limited value and around 10 per cent directly or indirectly harmful to patients, and with major research advances slow to translate into healthcare delivery, the new framework will support the delivery of quality, high-value care.

Lead author Professor Helena Teede, Director of the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) and of Monash Partners says: “In Australia our community are both the funders and beneficiaries of research and the funders and beneficiaries of healthcare, and they deserve a front row seat in the design and improvement of healthcare.

“The Monash Learning Health System framework was developed with the community, health providers and researchers to improve health care, shape our health system and deliver health impact.”

The Monash Learning Health System vision is on Learning Together for Better Health and is published today as an open source article in Frontiers in Medicine to ensure it is freely available to all the community and health care groups globally. Groups have now reached out globally and nationally to partner and engage in implementing the Learning Health System.

Coral, a consumer involved in the research for the new framework says: “The health of my family is very important to me. To enable me to help my family live a healthy life I need accurate and up to date information that can relate to our way of living. The 'learning together for better health' motto and approach for this new Monash Learning Health System is perfect. It ensured that I was involved in the design of a health system which will deliver better outcomes for my family.”

The development of the Learning Health System framework was driven by a collaboration between the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, the Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre – a member of the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA) – Monash Partners Research Translation Centre, Monash University and other leading Research Translation Centres.

Alison Johnson, Monash Partners Data Platform Lead says: “Providing access to data does not necessarily improve the use of data to inform health care delivery and healthcare improvements. Access to data, when combined with consumer and stakeholder views and priorities, research evidence, improved infrastructure and resourcing does result in measurable improvements in health outcomes. The Monash Partners Learning Health System provides an approach that will make a difference.”

Data has a key role to play in delivering better healthcare with and for our community.

New models have been developed to establish community priorities and to learn together to continuously improve healthcare.

MCHRI Biostatistician, Dr Joanne Enticott, says: “Our learning framework and embedded data platform aims to create a system to improve the use of data, taking practice to data, data to knowledge and knowledge to practice, to drive better health outcomes.

“We know that data alone won't create the improvements necessary in the health system. That is why we co-designed this framework to use data to address the priority of our community and to deliver health impact.”


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