Submission Type



learning health system, decision making, comparative effectiveness research, patient-centered outcomes research, quality improvement


A learning health system is one in which clinical information and research are continually used to improve the processes, outcomes, and quality of care. No matter which definition of comparative effectiveness research (CER) or patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) is preferred, there is nearly universal agreement that a core feature of these research efforts is the need to engage decision makers, such as patients, providers, and policymakers, in prioritizing and defining research that addresses and resolves important evidence gaps to improve patient care and outcomes. In this set of eGEMs papers focused on decision-making, leaders in scientific fields with an interest in developing the next generation of CER, PCOR, and quality improvement (QI) studies share their perspectives on the potential applications, as well as the short-and longterm challenges, of using electronic clinical data (ECD) to address health care information needs within a learning health system. This commentary introduce eGEMs’ first special issue, which was developed through a series of conversations with leading experts, as well as an open call for papers in early summer 2013. The six papers presented represent a first set of papers on decision makers and decision-making using these new data, with other papers (to follow) being currently under development to add to the perspectives provided here.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.