The National Academy of Medicine defines a Learning Healthcare System as one in which “science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned for continuous improvement an innovation, with best practices seamlessly embedded in the delivery process and new knowledge captured as an integral by-product of the delivery experience.”

This collaborative project between the Department of Internal Medicine and the Center for Healthcare Innovation promotes the design, implementation and evaluation of innovative strategies to improve healthcare delivery on our inpatient units and outpatient practices. This program is an integral part of our efforts to promote high-value, patient-centered care.

Proposals are especially encouraged that draw upon CHI's mission to incorporate clinical findings and research discoveries in support of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center as a model Learning Healthcare System. A hallmark of Learning Healthcare Systems is the creation of ongoing cycles of improvement, by which research findings directly inform clinical practice and key issues faced by practitioners in implementing evidence-based medicine become the next focus of research projects. Past projects include:

Year PI Project Title
2020 Kathryn Callahan eFI-cacious (EHR-based Frailty Index for ClinicAl Care In Older adUltS) Diabetes Care: a pilot study to implement guidelines-based care for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in frail older adults
2020  Adam Schertz
(Karl Thomas (Co-PI) 
Impact of an electronic health record-based surveillance algorithm and clinical decision support alert on antibiotic selection and administration in patients hospitalized with sepsis
2019  Joseph Aloi A Pilot Trial of CGM Technology in the Inpatient Setting
2019  Dennis Ang  Implementation of Nurse-Guided, Web-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Pain Management 
2018  Deepak Palakshappa Using Digital Technologies to Identify and Address Patients' Unmet Social Needs in Ambulatory Settings
2018 Barbara Pisani A Pilot Study of the Advanced Heart Failure Life Support Training

The program supports a wide spectrum of innovations to improve the quality and efficiency of care, decrease healthcare costs, improve the patient experience and improve physician workflows and satisfaction. Examples of potential areas of focus for awards include:

  • Innovative healthcare delivery strategies in inpatient or outpatient settings to improve quality of care and patient safety, decrease healthcare utilization such as hospital admissions or readmissions, improve transitions in care, promote population health management and/or care coordination, and improve patient engagement or satisfaction
  • Strategies to improve inpatient, clinic, or electronic medical record workflows, improve practitioner efficiency or improve practitioner satisfaction
  • Strategies to improve disease prevention or promote early disease detection or screening
  • Strategies to improve the quality of clinical documentation and use of the electronic medical record and strategies to improve clinical decision support through the electronic medical record
  • Strategies to promote team-based models of care that enable practitioners to work to the top of their license
  • New digital technologies and new applications for existing technologies (e.g., web-based, mobile, wearables) to improve patient communication, to implement behavioral interventions, or to improve the collection of patient-reported outcomes measures or other patient data that are important in providing care
  • Approaches to mitigate healthcare disparities and to more effectively engage vulnerable populations in healthcare or community settings
  • Advanced analytics (e.g., clinical risk assessment, event prediction and detection, health outcomes analysis) to improve patient outcomes or the delivery of population health interventions
  • Behavioral economic approaches (e.g., patient and practitioner incentives) to improve chronic disease management
  • Alternative staffing models to improve the quality and efficiency of care