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The Community As A Learning Health System. Larry A. Green, MD University of Colorado Denver September 20, 2012. May 2012. This Presentation. Recall some things we think we know that might guide further practice based research.

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the community as a learning health system

The Community As A Learning Health System

Larry A. Green, MD

University of ColoradoDenver

September 20, 2012

this presentation
This Presentation
  • Recall some things we think we know that might guide further practice based research.
  • Offer some “passages” that may be connections between where we have been and where we probably need to go.
  • Call out the potential of communities as learning health systems.
  • Nominate three recent reports and some possible “rules for the road” that WREN may find useful in setting its further compass headings.
  • Conclude with a bit of poetry.
reasons americans die prematurely
Reasons Americans Die Prematurely
  • 40% is due to health-related behaviors. Since we know that health behaviors can be changed, it follows that programs of health behavior change should be systematically incorporated into any plan for comprehensive health care


McGinnis JM, Foege WH. Actual Causes of Death in the United States. JAMA 1993;270:2207-12.

Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, Gerberding JL. Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000. JAMA 2004;291:1230-1245.

the evidence primary care improves population health outcomes
The Evidence: Primary Care Improves Population Health Outcomes
  • Primary care improves effectiveness.
  • Primary care improves efficiency.
  • Primary care improves equity.
  • Generic outcomes are better in systems with stronger primary care
  • No study shows otherwise.

Starfield. Milbank Quarterly, 2005

practice based research networks pbrns
Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs)

Number of AHRQ-registered PBRNs: 136 (as of July 2012)

  • 116 primary care PBRNs
  • 20 affiliate PBRNs (non-primary care and international networks)

Descriptive information about primary-care PBRNs (N = 116)

  • Patient population: 48 million across all 50 states
practice based research networks pbrns1
Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs)

Descriptive information about primary care PBRNs (N = 116)

  • 70% of practices have used electronic medical records for research purposes
  • 73% of practices have collaborated with another PBRN or plan
  • Average/median number of studies conducted in the past year: 5.1/3
one view of critical passages
One View of Critical Passages

From what –to—what?

whealthcare healthcare
wHealthcare Healthcare

Commercialism Professionalism

Profit Healthy Communities

Technicians/Lineworkers Personal Physicians

More! Enough!

Volume! Value!

Produce Inequities Relieve Disparitites

fragmentation integration
Fragmentation Integration

Shrinking Scope Comprehensive Scope

PH+MH+PC+FM Reunited-Integrated Platform

Biologic Science All Relevant Science

Little Data Big Data

Fuzzy Boundaries Multilateral Compacts

Pay for Fragments Blended/Bundled Payment

chess jigsaw puzzle
Chess Jigsaw Puzzle

Heroic Physician Championship Team

Weak Infrastructure New Infrastructure

Passive Recipients Voracious Explorers

Randomizing Confounders Using Confounders




Beacon Community

A Learning Health System

Pharmaceutical Firm

State Public Health

Community Practice







IntegratedDelivery System

Health Information Organization


Health Center



Published, November 2011

Joint Project of the Population Health and Privacy, Security and Confidentiality Subcommittees

health is a community affai r
Health is a Community Affair

“Getting data into the hands of communities and ensuring they have tools and capacities to use them could move the nation toward realizing the public benefits of the informatics revolution.”

The Community as a Learning System for Health,

NCVHS, December 2011, p. 7

success factors in community learning systems for health
Success Factors in Community Learning Systems for Health
  • A galvanizing health concern.
  • A comprehensive understanding of health and community health.
  • Collaborative culture; social capital.
  • Trust and community engagement.
  • Access to data on local health and its determinants, plus analytic capacities.
  • Data display and dissemination capacities.
  • Functioning coalitions, community engagement, agreement on priorities.
  • Organizational and technical support.
  • Political and financial support.
  • Processes and systems to translate information and priorities into action, evaluate results, and modify as needed.
institute of medicine march 28 2012
Institute of MedicineMarch 28, 2012

Integration of primary care and public health could enhance the capacity of both sectors to carry out their missions and link with other stakeholders to catalyze a collaborative, intersectoral movement toward improved population health

The committee finds that in its current state, the infrastructure for both primary care and public health is inadequate to achieve the nation’s population health objectives.

No single best solution for achieving integration can be prescribed . . . will require substantial local adaptation

communities of solution the 1967 folsom report revisited may june 2012
Communities of Solution: The 1967 FolsomReport Revisited, May/June 2012

13 Contemporary Grand Challenges comprising an integrated action plan to re-invigorate community-centered health systems.

The Personal Physician+PCMH=

“True Public Health Professional”

Grand challenge 2:

Foster the ongoing development of integrated, comprehensive care practices (patient-centered medical homes), accessible for all groups in a community, through the creation of explicit partnerships with public health professionals and communities of solution

why are we on this journey
Why Are We On This Journey?

Because our people are waiting for us to make the trip and show up —as the best personal physicians, working from a robust and efficient platform, achieving the primary care function that is essential to sustainable, high performance healthcare.

rules for the road
Rules for the Road
  • Health, the foundation for achievement, is our goal.
  • It is not so much a battle against disease as a “quest for long, healthy, meaningful lives.”
  • Personal doctoring is our cornerstone method, a relationship, not a commodity.
rules for the road1
Rules for the Road
  • Never sacrifice alignment with public good for professional gain.
  • Never forget rural populations.
  • There is no one among us unworthy of health care.
  • Being the best never goes out of style.