Learning Health System Core Principles

A Trust Framework for the Common Good

The National Academy of Medicine’s Learning Health System Core Principles are the product of the Learning Health System Series initiative stewarded since 2006 by the NAM Leadership Consortium. The Core Principles build upon the NAM’s (then the IOM/Institute of Medicine) landmark publications, To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm, which identified quality health care as that which is: safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. Although Crossing the Quality Chasm was an instrumental springboard for the patient safety movement in health care, the nation’s health system performance continues to fall far short relative to available talent, technology, and financial investment. Transformed health system focus and re-alignment are required to reverse the sort of systemic shortfalls so painfully underscored during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the NAM’s leadership, the vision and principles have expanded to include both health and health care and been updated with the important elements of individual engagement, transparency, accountability, security, and continuous learning. These 10 Core Principles serve as a trust framework reflecting the commitment of all learning health organizations to effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and continuous learning.

In 2006, the National Academy of Medicine (then the IOM) advanced the notion of the Learning Health System, defined as “one in which science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned for continuous improvement, innovation, and equity—with best practices and discovery seamlessly embedded in the delivery process, individuals and families active participants in all elements, and new knowledge generated as an integral by-product of the delivery experience.” Every health system can utilize these Core Principles as basic guideposts to ensure that the services they offer support organizational improvement at scale. Health and health care organizations that orient their visions and activities to these 10 principles will help advance the system-wide alignment, performance, and continuous improvement so important in the face of today’s challenges and opportunities.


      Spread the word!

  • Tweet this! The NAM’s Core Principles provide a roadmap for aligning science, informatics, incentives & culture, leading to continuous improvement & innovation. Learn more about the 10 shared commitments of learning health organizations: https://nam.edu/learning-health-system-core-principles/
  • Tweet this! The U.S. health system’s performance lags behind available talent and technology. By adopting the National Academy of Medicine’s 10 Core Principles, health organizations can drive transformative change and improve health outcomes for all: https://nam.edu/learning-health-system-core-principles/
  • Tweet this! The NAM’s Core Principles set the stage for person-centered, engaged, safe, equitable, and continuously improving healthcare. Share your organization’s commitment to these principles for improved system performance and active involvement of individuals & families: https://nam.edu/learning-health-system-core-principles/
For more information, contact LeadershipConsortium@nas.edu

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