Advancing Innovation

Advancing Innovation

We are a first-in-the-nation basic science department focused on learning. Our research programs generate new knowledge that can enhance learning at all levels of scale to make it more effective, routine and efficient. Scientists across multiple disciplines contribute their individual expertise for this common cause. This knowledge feeds into the learning loop, the engine of the learning health system.

We seek to answer big questions through the learning health sciences to improve health and health care:

  • How do we bring together multiple disciplines to improve health care, to lower health care costs and to create better health?
  • How do we most effectively synthesize advances in technology with our growing understanding of social, behavioral and economic sciences?
  • How can we advance innovative concepts of teaching and learning, such as competency-based education, for health professionals?
  • How does simulation-based training of health professionals improve health care delivery and health outcomes?
  • How do we improve the accessibility of biomedical information and rapid sharing of best practices?
  • How do we create the infrastructure to implement knowledge and change practice on the ground?

Our department focuses on research in three main areas to support our overarching goal: improve learning to improve health.

These include:

Education Research

Research projects focus on learning by individuals and teams in health settings, including educational program design, learner assessment, curriculum development, program evaluation, pedagogical knowledge, best practices, and innovation experiments.

Infrastructure Research

Research projects focus on learning at the levels of complex organizations and large-scale systems that span states and nations, including biomedical informatics, behavior change, organizational change theory, implementation science, quality and performance improvement methods, and translational research.

Implementation Research

Research projects convene learning communities around specific health problems, employing implementation science methods and best practices to solve or improve that health problem.

Simulation Research

Research projects focus on learning by individuals and teams in environments with advanced simulation technology that model the real world of health care practice, including research and development projects specific to engineering, computer science and biomedical science, and simulation-based education.

Research Facts

  • Member of the Endowment for Basic Sciences
  • Doubled research funding since 2014
  • Launched international open source journal Learning Health Systems, published by John Wiley and Sons
  • DLHS faculty are internationally renowned for expertise in competency-based health professions education, behavioral diabetes research, maternal health, bioethics for health professions, implementation science and learning health systems.
  • The six core faculty in the Clinical Simulation Center produced 14 peer-reviewed publications from 2014-2016.