National Academy of Medicine

The Common Rule and Continuous Improvement in Health Care: A Learning Health System Perspective

By Harry Selker, Claudia Grossmann, Alyce Adams, Don Goldmann, Christopher Dezii, Gregg Meyer, Veronique Roger, Lucy Savitz, Rich Platt
October 01, 2011 | Discussion Paper


To generate needed improvements in health care, its delivery, and its outcomes, organized and sustained efforts at continuous improvement are needed. The Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care has developed the vision of a health care system that gets the right care to the right people when they need it, and captures the results for making improvements: a learning health system. The Roundtable sees the creation of generalizable new knowledge as a necessary, routine aspect of the delivery of health care. Activities that involve measurement, comparison, evaluation, systematic introduction of accepted therapies, sharing of experience and information, and coordination of these activities among organizations, either are, or should become, normal expected activities of such organizations.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.