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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Northwestern University Awarded $3.5 Million to Train the Next Generation of Learning Health System Researchers

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) announced $40 million in awards over five years to 11 institutions to support the training of researchers to conduct patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) within learning health systems (LHS).

Northwestern University was among the recipients, with its project entitled, “A Chicago Center of Excellence in Learning Health Systems Research Training (ACCELERAT).”  Dr. Abel Kho, co-principal investigator and Director of Center for Health Information Partnerships (CHIP) within the Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM), says, “Ultimately, change happens through empowered people.  We’re thrilled to partner with AHRQ, PCORI and institutions within the Chicago Area Patient Centered Outcomes Research Network (CAPriCORN) to train the future leaders of our learning health systems.”

Organizations that apply LHS principles aim to improve patient care and health system operations through the systematic generation, adoption, and application of evidence. Clinicians and health system leaders work together to ensure that evidence is updated, disseminated to clinical teams and communicated to patients in ways that support shared decision making. Learning health systems are essential as the health care landscape becomes increasingly characterized by rich sources of information that are available in digital formats, programs and applications.

Dr. David Cella, ACCELERAT co-principal investigator and chair of the Feinberg School of Medicine Department of Medical Social Sciences, says, “It’s important to ensure the voice of the patient is central in health care and research. By conducting research embedded within a LHS, we will influence care by applying hard evidence and patient values to improve people’s lives.”

The new LHS Centers of Excellence funded under this initiative will produce the next generation of LHS researchers to conduct PCOR and implement the results to improve quality of care and patient outcomes. Newly trained clinician and research scientists will work within health systems by collaborating with systems’ leaders and conducting studies to address how healthcare organizations can improve patient outcomes.

PCORI and AHRQ announced their collaboration on research to support the training of clinician and research scientists to conduct PCOR within learning health systems. The five-year, $40 million initiative to fund the training of clinician and research scientists will be managed by AHRQ and jointly funded by AHRQ and PCORI.

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