Digital Infrastructure for the Learning Health System: The Foundation for Continuous Improvement in Health and Health Care - Workshop Series Summary


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

Like many other industries, health care increasingly is turning to digital information and the use of electronic resources. The next generation digital health infrastructure could shape health and health care in fundamental ways. Electronic patient records, digital communication between patients and clinicians, accessible web-based health information, and even remote site diagnosis and treatment are examples of rapidly emerging technologies with great potential. With access to timely, comprehensive digital health information, patients and clinicians will be able to make collaborative and informed decisions grounded in a sound and up-to-date evidence base. At the same time, the availability of large repositories of health data will transform the breadth, depth, and pace of clinical research and analysis to inform future decisions. 

As part of its Learning Health System Series, the IOM’s Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care hosted three workshops, sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, to explore current efforts and opportunities to accelerate progress in improving health and health care with information technology systems. Participants’ discussions and presentations focused on four important cross-cutting dimensions: promoting technical advances and innovation, generating and using information, engaging patients and the public, and fostering stewardship and governance. This report summarizes workshop discussions on these issues and the context for their engagement.

The Synopsis and Overview of this report were previously released on December 20, 2010.