Establishing a Swiss Learning Health System – A Project Protocol
- Stefan Boes, Universität Luzern
- Cornel Kaufmann, Universität Luzern
- Sarah Mantwill, Universität Luzern, Presenter
Form of presentation
Learning health systems are innovative mechanisms that support evidence-based solutions and policy-making in public health. In order to ensure continuous integration of available evidence, and to respond effectively to newly occurring health system challenges, learning health systems rely on cyclical dynamics that allow to identify issues, systematize relevant evidence, present potential action plans and to revise and reshape responses.
Launched in 2017, the Swiss Learning Health System (SLHS) aims at introducing the first nation-wide learning health system to respond to current needs of the health system and to ensure evidence translation into practice and policy. The SLHS is a joint project between seven academic partner institutions in Switzerland from different disciplines, including medical science, public health, law, economics, and communication. The project has three overarching aims: (1.) to bridge research, policy, and practice by means of learning cycles, (2.) to build scientific capacity in form of institutionalized training for researchers in the field of learning health systems, and (3.) to establish national standards for structured reporting and collection of new multipurpose health information. Whereas the first objective is considered to be at the very core of the project, the two latter ones are considered to be supporting mechanisms.
Based on an iterative prioritization process, topics that are relevant to ongoing needs of the Swiss health system will be identified. Each partner institution will work on one of the identified issues with the goal to establish learning cycles that aim at translating evidence into practice and practice back into evidence.
One of the core features of the SLHS will be regular stakeholder dialogues. Based on available evidence, in form of policy briefs, stakeholders from academia, policy and practice will discuss and evaluate in structured dialogues the best course of action. Implementation efforts will be evaluated on a regular basis to inform the continuous learning cycle and to support learning within the system.
The SLHS is an important mechanism to institutionalize learning cycles within the Swiss health system and to systematically integrate evidence into practice and policy-making. Further, it will promote synergies and collaboration between different stakeholders in the field of public health.
At the Swiss Public Health Conference in November 2017 the SLHS was represented with a poster (Download PDF).