Altarum Institute is working on many fronts to foster innovation and realize the promise of a learning health system.  As defined by the Institute of Medicine, a learning health system is one in which “progress in science, informatics, and care culture align to generate new knowledge as an ongoing, natural by-product of the care experience, and seamlessly refine and deliver best practices for continuous improvement in health and health care.” 

Altarum has a long history of developing learning infrastructures to advance health and healthcare, most notably in public health.  From developing the first immunization registry in the country to be used in both public and private care settings to work we are undertaking today to streamline the connections between healthcare providers, our work is measurably advancing healthcare efficiency and efficacy.

Building on that legacy we are now on the cusp of transforming high-tech imaging by empowering physicians with robust clinical decision support (CDS) and health information exchange (HIE) tools, patient education materials and supporting scorecards and incentive programs.  We are also advancing the use of CDS in the management of serious mental illness and developing lightweight mobile CDS (mCDS) tools to help prescribing physicians answer key questions about specific pharmaceutical products at the point of care.

Over the next 5 years our work will help bring about:

  1. Seamless data flows from EHRs to public health registries and surveillance systems, improving the specificity and timeliness of responses to epidemics and trends in disease incidence.
  2. Point-of-care, platform independent CDS that empowers care givers to tailor treatment regimens based on automated assessments of individual patient characteristics against the latest clinical trial and real-world observational evidence.
  3. Novel health IT enabled analytics which help us better understand and incorporate value into healthcare delivery decisions.
  4. Robust consumer engagement tools that better inform healthcare consumers and support shared decision-making.

Health IT innovation is essential to improving health and healthcare and a key enabler of changes necessary to alter the trajectory of healthcare costs in the U.S.