Learning Health System Program

Our Learning Health System (LHS) Program aligns research and care delivery to bring better value, better care, and better health to our members.

What is the Learning Health System Program?

Kaiser Permanente Washington’s Learning Health System (LHS) Program is a formal collaboration that connects our health system, medical group, and research institute. Our shared goal is to continually identify and implement practical innovations that improve our services, our value, our work environment, and our members’ health.

Our work is based on forging strong partnerships among our scientists, clinicians, operational managers, and staff—so we can take rapid action to implement best practices and evaluate their impact. The LHS Program brings together people with diverse expertise from across our organization—providing a unique opportunity to work together and learn from each other, and from our members and their experiences.

To date, more than 40 researchers and staff from across Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) have worked with partners in our health plan and care delivery system on dozens of projects aimed at helping us ensure Kaiser Permanente Washington is the best place in our region to give and get health care.

What does the LHS Program do?

  • We start by aligning the Program's objectives with Kaiser Permanente  Washington's strategic goals and identifying opportunities to use our research capabilities to help achieve them.
  • Next, we develop short- and long-term partnerships between research and care delivery—so that we can use scientific approaches to inform decision making and answer important questions related to quality, cost, and value.
  • By linking the scientific expertise of our researchers to the needs and priorities of our care delivery system, the LHS Program drives continuous learning and improvement—helping us find practical and sustainable ways to deliver better value, better care, and better health to our members.

Recent program highlights

New blog post highlights success of CRS program

A group from Kaiser Permanente's National Program Office in Oakland recently visited Kaiser Permanente Washington to learn more about the organization's Community Resource Specialist (CRS) program. In our latest Healthy Findings blog post, CRS Assistant Manager and LHS Partner Cindee DeWitt talks about their visit and how the CRS program helps meet our members' social needs in primary care.

KING 5 News reports on LHS Program's flu vaccine outreach 

KPWHRI Associate Investigator and LHS Partner Michael L. Jackson, PhD, MPH, was recently interviewed by Seattle's KING 5 News about his LHS project that used predictive analytics to drive outreach to Kaiser Permanente Washington members at risk of complications from the flu. Members who received an outreach phone call were nearly twice as likely to come in for a flu shot. Based these findings, Kaiser Permanente Washington has adopted this intervention systemwide.

LHS at AcademyHealth D&I 2019

TheLHS Program was well-represented at the 12th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health hosted by AcademyHealth in Washington D.C., December 4-6.

  • LHS Co-director Katie Coleman, MSPH, will presented on the intersection of quality improvement and implementation science.
  • KPWHRI Associate Investigator and LHS Partner Michael L. Jackson, PhD, MPH, will shared poster on the LHS Program's use of predictive analytics to improve influenza vaccination rates for high-risk members. View poster, or learn more on our projects page.

TIME shines light on innovations in suicide prevention

KPWHRI Senior Investigator and LHS Partner Greg Simon, MD, MPH, was quoted in an October 24 TIME magazine article highlighting health system efforts to prevent suicide. Dr. Simon described how Kaiser Permanente is using predictive analytics to help identify people who are at risk for suicide attempt or death. Learn more about the LHS Program's work in predictive analytics on our projects page.

Notes on our people and projects

  • The LHS Program's Community Resource Specialist (CRS) evaluation team recently reached the milestone of more than 1,100 baseline surveys completed with Kaiser Permanente Washington members. Hats off to all!
  • In October, LHS Program Co-director Katie Coleman, MSPH, was named the new director of the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at KPWHRI. Congratulations, Katie! (Read news story.).
  • Kudos to KPWHRI Assistant Investigator and LHS Partner Yates Coley, PhD, who recently presented to Kaiser Permanente Washington care delivery leadership on racial bias in risk prediction.

Research in Action

Photo of Cindee DeWitt

Partnering with research, CRS program addresses social needs in primary care

Cindee DeWitt describes how Kaiser Permanente Washington’s community resource specialist program stands out among efforts to meet patients’ social needs. Healthy Findings, Jan. 2020.

LHS Program in the media

New program ensures high-risk patients get flu shots in the South Sound

KING 5 News, Dec. 2, 2019

How to assess readiness and impact


AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting 2019

Claire Allen, an implemenation expert and LHS core team member, shares her poster describing the 27 core constructs that an LHS program can use to assess readiness and measure the program’s progress and impact. View poster.

LHS Program Fast Facts

  • Established June 1, 2017, by executive leaders at Kaiser Permanente Washington and Washington Permanente Medical Group.
  • Led by Dr. Paula Lozano, Katie Coleman, Emily Westbrook, and Claire Allen. Learn more about our team.
  • More than 50 LHS projects or consultations completed or in progress, spanning more than 40 researchers from Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

Contact us

For more information about Kaiser Permanente Washington's Learning Health System Program, please email us at KPWALHS@kp.org.