Costs are a major concern for patients, clinicians, providers, commissioners and governments (Akerman 2015). Claims have been made that the Learning Healthcare System can help to solve the cost crisis in healthcare (Institute of Medicine 2010). At the same time, the considerable costs of implementing, maintaining and administering the required infrastructure have often been overlooked (O'Hanlon 2015).


Many of the claimed savings have face validity. For example, the potential for earlier diagnosis, more personalised treatment regimes, fewer medical errors and cheaper research methodologies would seem to suggest significant potential for direct and indirect savings. However, there has been little robust economic evaluation of the elements of Learning Healthcare Systems that already exist and little economic appraisal of the elements that have been proposed (Simpson 2015).


There will be some scepticism about potential savings following the failure, so far, to realise the efficiency gains that had been hoped for from EHRs (Simpson 2015). Economic evaluation and appraisal work is urgently required to complete the case for or against the development of the various components of the Learning Healthcare System.


Dr Christina ┼kerman Interview


Author Dr Tom Foley

BackgroundDr Christina R. ┼kerman is President of ICHOM. Between 2008 and 2014, she served as Director General for the Medical Products Agency (MPA) in Sweden, a national agency employing approximatel

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Dr Lisa Simpson Interview


Author Dr Tom Foley, Dr Fergus Fairmichael

BackgroundDr. Simpson is the President and Chief Executive officer of AcademyHealth. Before joining AcademyHealth, Dr. Simpson was director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children&#

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Dr Shaun OĺHanlon Interview


Author Dr Fergus Fairmichael

Dr OĺHanlon is EMIS Group's Chief Medical Officer. He started with EMIS in 2006 as Clinical Design Director and was responsible for the clinical architecture of EMIS's flagship p

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Despite recent signs that efforts to slow the growth of U.S. health care costs are working, health care cost inflation remains a significant challenge. RAND researchers continue to examine solutions t

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AbstractPrivate- and public-sector initiatives, using electronic health record (EHR) databases from millions of people, could rapidly advance the U.S. evidence base for clinical care. Rapid learning c

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AbstractThe use of electronic medical record data linked to biological specimens in health care settings is expected to enable cost-effective and rapid genomic analyses. Here, we present a model that

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AbstractIn any country the health sector is important in terms of human wellbeing and large in terms of economics. The health sector might therefore be expected to be a finely tuned enterprise, utilis

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Abstract  The United States has the highest per capita spending on health care of any industrialized nation. Yet despite the unprecedented levels of spending, harmful medical errors abound, uncoo

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