Learning Healthcare System Academy

The future of healthcare is digital. Get ready with the Learning Healthcare System Academy. Starting in 2022.

The University of Melbourne is offering a new professional development program to equip healthcare professionals with the skills to identify best practice and improve patient outcomes.

This program is right for you if you have the desire to work collaboratively on projects that continually improve clinical practice in your organisation and have broad impact across the healthcare system.

The program will enable participants to learn from each other, thereby improving their ability to lead change and practice improvement within their organisation. People who undertake this program will gain experience in learning and working across boundaries to address a common problem, using rigorous metrics and measuring outcomes.

Participants will gain skills in using routinely collected clinical data to generate new knowledge and to design and implement digital solutions to real clinical problems.

Key Information

  • The program will run from February to December in 2022
  • The Academy is open to all health care professionals, no formal experience in data analysis or digital health is required
  • Scholarships are available to support attendance two days per week
  • The program comprises of 3 months of course work and at least 8 months of project-based learning
  • Projects will be co-designed with, prioritised by and agreed by participating organisations

If you are interested, speak to your Academy representative (see page 5 in the attached information sheets and at https://bit.ly/LHSA_info.


The Learning Healthcare System Academy has been developed by the Centre for Digital Transformation of Health at The University of Melbourne to:

  • build our healthcare workforce capacity for data-driven and digital health-enabled clinical practice improvement
  • truly transform healthcare through data-informed and technology-enhanced models of care.

What is a Learning Healthcare System?

Learning Healthcare Systems are an accepted model for healthcare practice and quality improvement.

They were originally defined by the Institute of Medicine as a system in which “science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned for continuous improvement and innovation, with best practices seamlessly embedded in the delivery process and new knowledge captured as an integral by-product of the delivery experience”.

Key features of a Learning Healthcare System are:

  • using data to generate new knowledge (D2K)
  • using knowledge to inform clinical practice (K2P)
  • evaluating changes in clinical practice (P2D)

What is the Learning Healthcare System Academy?

The Learning Healthcare System Academy has been designed by the Centre for Digital Transformation of Health to teach healthcare professionals, through a mixture of course-work and innovative project-based learning, to use health data to inform clinical practice and to design, test, validate, implement and evaluate digital health-enabled models of care.

The three components of the Academy are:

  • Digital Transformation Fellows who will spend two days per week in the Academy between February and December 2022
  • Targeted active learning course-work to build the competencies required for Fellows of the Academy to contribute to the digital transformation of healthcare
  • Project-based learning to provide Fellows with hands on experience in using health data to inform clinical practice and in digital health-enabled models of care.

Who is the course for?

This program has been designed for practicing healthcare professionals currently employed in the primary care sector or in a hospital setting. In the first iteration of the program, healthcare professionals employed by an organisation affiliated with either the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH) or the Department of General Practice at The University of Melbourne will be eligible.

What topics will be covered?

Learning Modules

Course work will include:

Data to Knowledge (D2K)

Knowledge to Practice (K2P)

Practice to Data (P2D)

Secondary use of health data

Design of digital health interventions

Evaluation of clinical efficacy of digital health interventions

Data analysis and interpretation

Development, testing, validation and evaluation of digital health interventions

Implementation and scaling of technology-enhanced models of care

Case study

Case studies for chronic diseases such as diabetes have been informed by leading clinicians in the field, and will be used to illustrate the application of the concepts learned as part of the course-work.

Project-based learning

The key differentiator of the Learning Health System Academy is the time spent (two days per week for at least eight months) on hands on projects that cement the knowledge and skills required to become active champions of healthcare transformation through digital innovation.

Projects are being co-designed with participating MACH hospitals and the Department of General Practice at The University of Melbourne so that work you do as a Fellow of the Academy has a clear pathway to implementation in healthcare organisations.

What will you achieve?

This program aims to build the core competencies required for you to become a digital transformation agent in a Learning Healthcare System who can who design, implement and evaluate innovative change and continuous improvement in health systems. By the end of the program, you will be able to:

  • work with, analyse and interpret routinely collected healthcare data
  • design digital health innovations and tools that support clinical practice change
  • test and measure the clinical benefits of digital health innovations
  • understand how to design digital health innovations that can be implemented and are more likely to be adopted widely in the healthcare system.

In addition, you will become part of a growing Learning Healthcare System Community of inter-disciplinary researchers and clinicians with a passion to transform the healthcare system through digital innovation.

A certificate of completion from the Centre for Digital Transformation of Health at The University of Melbourne will be provided for participants who attend at least 80% of the course-work and complete their project.

Who will you learn with?

The Centre for Digital Transformation of Health’s inter-disciplinary experts will lead and facilitate learning in the three key domains of the Learning Healthcare System:

Data to Knowledge (D2K)

Knowledge to Practice (K2P)

Practice to Data (P2D)

Dr Douglas Pires

A/Professor Brian Chapman

Professor Wendy Chapman

Dr Daniel Capurro

Dr Kit Huckvale

Professor Kathleen Gray

Professor Jill Francis

A/Professor Graeme Hart

How do I get involved?

To be eligible, you will need to be able to commit two days per week from February 2022 until December 2022. This will comprise the equivalent of 24 days (three months @ 2 days per week) of course work, with the remaining time spent on project-based learning.

Full scholarships will be available to reimburse you or your employing organisation for the time spent in the Academy. Scholarships will be allocated to each participating organisation in the first year. Organisations can also choose to fund further Fellows.

Posts for Fellows will be developed in partnership with participating organisations to ensure that new knowledge and skills gained are applicable in the Fellows’ workplaces.

Prospective Fellows of the Academy must agree on a project with their substantive employer or the organisation that will sponsor their participation. This is because a key attribute of the project-based learning is that it must also provide benefit to the sponsoring organisation.

Projects should therefore address a need of your sponsoring organisation. The Centre for Digital Transformation of Health (DT4H) will work with the DT4H Clinical Informatics Directors appointed to date at Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH)-affiliated hospitals and the Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne, to identify potential projects. Projects selected for the program will require evidence of executive sponsorship, organisational readiness and identification of a clinical need and a clinical champion for the project. Within these participating organisations, a comprehensive needs analysis and landscape map will be undertaken to identify the most important and feasible leverage points where investment in digital health innovation is most likely to achieve healthcare system improvement.

*To ensure adequate capacity for project supervision and mentoring, identified and prioritised projects will be available in two broad topic areas that both align with DT4H strategic pillars and are priorities of the organisational executive groups:

  • analysing routinely-collected healthcare data to understand unwarranted variation in care. Settings for projects within this scope could include (but are not limited to) outpatients, specialist clinics or shared care
  • designing digital health tools for virtual care. Settings for projects within this scope could include (but are not limited to) Hospital in the Home or home monitoring.

Projects that involve Fellows from a number of participating organisations working together and that address clinical needs identified by more than one participating organisation will be given preference.

Potential Fellows of the Learning Healthcare System Academy will require evidence of organisational commitment and support for their participation including a plan to integrate the competencies gained into their usual workplace.

Fellows who undertake project-based learning will be co-supervised by a clinical champion from their sponsoring healthcare organisation and a DT4H researcher. Fellows will have access to:

  • University of Melbourne expertise in health informatics and data science methodologies, design of digital health applications, health technology assessment, interoperability and implementation science
  • DT4H infrastructure such as sandboxes for application development, a sim lab for testing prototypes and de-risking digital health interventions for real world implementation
  • University of Melbourne methodological support and mentoring through the Melbourne Data Analytics Platform

Please direct enquiries about project opportunities to DT4H Clinical Informatics Directors or Learning Healthcare System Academy representative at your site:

A/Prof Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis

Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne


A/Prof Graeme Hart

Austin Health


Dr Tim Fazio

Royal Melbourne Hospital


Prof Jim Buttery

Royal Children’s Hospital


Dr Oliver Daly

Western Health


Representatives at other sites will be announced as they are agreed. Please go to https://bit.ly/LHSA_info to find out more.

Expected benefits

Expected benefits of the Learning Health System Academy for the participating MACH-affiliated hospitals and University of Melbourne affiliated general practices will include:

  • In the short term, research projects that address current priorities, and key clinical staff with more skills in clinical informatics and digital health
  • In the medium term, more employees who can address organisational priorities in clinical informatics and digital health, as well as further grow capacity in healthcare organisations through mentoring their colleagues
  • In the longer term, a critical mass of employees with the skills to design and implement digital health-enabled models of care, and to de-risk adoption of digital health innovations by the healthcare system.

Who can I contact for more information?

For general enquiries, please contact:
Dr Dawn Choo, Academic Coordinator
Centre for Digital Transformation of Health, The University of Melbourne