Learning Health Systems (LHS) require accessible, usable health data and a culture of collaboration-a challenge for any single system, let alone disparate organizations, with macro- and micro-systems. Recently, the National Science Foundation described this important setting as a cyber-social ecosystem. In 2004, in an effort to create a platform for transforming health in South Carolina, Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC) was established as a research collaboration of the largest health systems, academic medical centers and research intensive universities in South Carolina. With work beginning in 2010, HSSC unveiled an integrated Clinical Data Warehouse (CDW) in 2013 as a crucial anchor to a statewide LHS. This CDW integrates data from independent health systems in near-real time, and harmonizes the data for aggregation and use in research. With records from over 2.7 million unique patients spanning 9 years, this multi-institutional statewide clinical research repository allows integrated individualized patient-level data to be used for multiple population health and biomedical research purposes. In the first 21 months of operation, more than 2,800 de-identified queries occurred through i2b2, with 116 users. HSSC has developed and implemented solutions to complex issues emphasizing anti-competitiveness and participatory governance, and serves as a recognized model to organizations working to improve healthcare quality by extending the traditional borders of learning health systems.
Keywords: Governance; Learning Health System Infomratics; Population Health; Quality Management; Research Networks.