Background: Learning networks have emerged in medicine as a novel organizational structure that contains elements of quality improvement, education, and research with the goal of effecting rapid improvements in clinical care. In this article, the concept of a learning network is defined and highlighted in the field of pediatric heart failure and transplantation. Methods: Learning networks are defined, with particular attention paid to the recent creation of the Advanced Cardiac Therapies Improving Outcomes Network (ACTION) for children with heart failure and those being supported with ventricular assist devices (VAD). Results: The mission, goals, and organizational structure of ACTION are described, and recent initiatives promoted by ACTION are highlighted, such as stroke reduction initiatives, practice harmonization protocols, and use of ACTION data to support the recent US Food and Drug Administration approval of newer VAD for pediatric patients. Conclusions: The learning network, exemplified by ACTION, is distinguished from traditional clinical research collaboratives by contributions in research, quality improvement, patient-reported outcomes, and education, and serves as an effective vehicle to drive clinical improvement in the care of children with advanced heart failure.
- heart failure
- heart transplantation
- learning networks
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health