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Implications

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Learning Healthcare Systems will have significant workforce implications. They will certainly not remove the need for clinicians, but over time they will alter the skill set needed and may impact the type and number required. Likewise, there will be implications for researchers and a greater role for informaticians.

 

Learning Healthcare Systems will be based within or rely upon healthcare providers. They must be acceptable to providers. This means that they must align with the providerís goals and they must have the support of clinicians, managers and the board.

 

Learning Healthcare Systems will have an important role in supporting and evaluating new delivery models. They will offer a level of data on their performance that was previously unavailable.

 

Quality regulation can be approached differently within a Learning Healthcare System. Better data can mean more targeted inspections and more timely judgements. It also raises the possibility for regulators to identify risk factors before poor care actually occurs.

 

Learning Healthcare Systems may help to address the cost crisis in healthcare through, earlier diagnosis, personalised treatments, fewer errors and more affordable research methodologies. However, building the sociotechnical infrastructure will also carry significant costs. There has been little robust economic evaluation.

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