HSSC Wins Prestigious 2014 AAMC Learning Health System Award

December 18, 2014

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) named HSSC a recipient of a 2014 AAMC Learning Health System Champion Research Award. Only eight of these prestigious awards were given, making HSSC a national model for other states that want to create Learning Health Systems to improve public health and health systems.

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia was a key collaborator with HSSC on the award submission. The Learning Health System is a concept advanced by the Institute of Medicine in which healthcare systems use and convert healthcare data and evidence-based discoveries and technologies into clinical practice to promote overall improved health. In working to achieve the goal of a Learning Health System for South Carolina, HSSC and its members formed the foundation for the statewide system through innovative research tools that foster statewide engagement of multiple partners in research and quality improvement initiatives.

HSSC received an outstanding score from the AAMC review committee for its efforts to bridge research, its Clinical Data Warehouse that integrates the data into a structured, multi-use format  and its goal of improving the health of all South Carolinians. This was achieved through the creation of a groundbreaking data-sharing agreement between and among HSSC’s diverse university and health system member organizations coupled with HSSC’s statewide research infrastructure and sophisticated clinical data resources.

HSSC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christine Turley said, “South Carolina is unique in that we have overcome traditional rivalries and competitive challenges to form a single entity, HSSC, focused on improving healthcare quality in our state. The South Carolina Learning Health System allows us to improve our state’s health status through a unique combination of university and healthcare leaders working as innovative problem solvers with a shared mission. While it sounds like a commonsense approach to improving health care, the combination of health systems and academic centers working together is unique and puts South Carolina forward as a national leader.”

As a national model, HSSC will mentor other medical schools, health systems, and organizations that want to duplicate its success in establishing a Learning Health System. The value of the Learning Health System is that it allows diseases to be studied and improvements to be adopted, and then further study the outcomes of patients as changes are made to continuously improve care.

Other 2014 AAMC Learning Health System Award Winners include the University of Florida, Weill Cornell Medical College, University of Wisconsin Health/University of Wisconsin, Henry Ford Health System, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center (University of Connecticut), University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Duke University Medical Center.

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