Public Release: 

The National Dental PBRN as a learning health system

International & American Associations for Dental Research

Los Angeles, Calif., USA - Today at the 45th Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research, researcher Jeffrey Fellows, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, Oregon, USA, will present a study titled "The National Dental PBRN as a Learning Health System." The AADR Annual Meeting is being held in conjunction with the 40th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research.

The Institute of Medicine has advanced the Learning Health System (LHS) as a strategy to transform health care delivery by leveraging data infrastructure to develop and apply new information within real-world clinical settings. A LHS achieves this goal through collaborative relationships between clinicians, researchers, IT staff, patients and other stakeholders. Organizations identify important clinical questions for study, collect and analyze relevant data, interpret and disseminate results, and implement practice change. This study describes the LHS and its correspondence with the National Dental Practice-Based Network's goals, structure and achievements.

The Network is a consortium of more than 6,000 U.S. dental practitioners and researchers that conducts studies in dental offices on topics of importance to practitioners in order to advance scientific knowledge, and improve patient care and oral health. The Network developed collaborative processes to identify clinical questions for study, specify and collect relevant data, analyze study data and interpret results, and disseminate and implement findings. Since 2005, the Network has conducted more than 25 studies, published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and demonstrated practice change. The strengths of the Network include: collaborative relationships between practitioners, researchers and stakeholders; integration of practitioners in decisionmaking; focus on real world clinical questions; merging data from large numbers of patients and clinics; collaborative assessment study results and practice implications; and rapid dissemination to practitioners. Challenges include barriers to electronic records integration, finite resources, and integrating implementation science.

At the conclusion of this study, the researchers determined that the key to success for the Network as a LHS is its ability to empower collaboration among practitioners, clinical researchers and other stakeholders, and to expand evidence and improve patient care. This research was supported by NIH grant U19-DE-22516.

This is a summary of oral presentation #1490, "The National Dental PBRN as a Learning Health System," which will be presented on Saturday, March 19, 2016, 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. at the Los Angeles Convention Center, room #511BC.

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About the American Association for Dental Research

The American Association for Dental Research (AADR), headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit organization with more than 3,700 members in the United States. Its mission is: (1) to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health; (2) to support and represent the oral health research community; and (3) to facilitate the communication and application of research findings. AADR is the largest Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). To learn more about the AADR, visit http://www.aadr.org.

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