Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archival print banner

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Learning Networks AHRQ Annual Conference (Text Version)

Slide presentation from the AHRQ 2011 conference.

On September 20, 2011, Margie Shofer made this presentation at the 2011 Annual Conference. Select to access the PowerPoint® presentation (810 KB). Plugin Software Help.

Slide 1

Learning Networks
AHRQ Annual Conference

Margie Shofer, BSN, MBA
Communications Specialist
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Slide 2

Learning Networks

Some definitions...

  • Groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or passion about a topic and who deepen their knowledge in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis.
  • Set up for the primary purpose of increasing knowledge.

Slide 3



  • Similar jobs.


  • Focused on an initiative or problem.


  • Long-term commitment to build a knowledge domain.

Slide 4


  • Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) Learning Network.
  • Medicaid Medical Directors Learning Network.

Slide 5

QIO Learning Network

  • Task-based: focused on implementing two AHRQ tools:
    • Decreasing VTEs, improving medication reconciliation.
  • QIOs in 16 States, 243 providers:
    • Included 200 hospitals and 43 other providers.
  • Activities included in-person meetings, QIO-specific technical assistance calls, national support calls, member extranet.

Slide 6

Successes and Challenges


  • Training highly rated.
  • Implementation in a short period of time.
  • Improved process measures.


  • Toolkit availability.
  • Resource intensive.
  • Some dropped out.
  • Reliance on toolkit experts.
  • National calls less interactive than State ones.

Slide 7

Lessons Learned

  • Difficult to determine who is ready for intervention during recruitment.
  • Members will need a lot of technical assistance and support during implementation.
  • Can't assume that learning will continue once network ends.

Slide 8

Medicaid Medical Directors Learning Network

  • Practice-based: focused on improving quality of care for Medicaid recipients.
  • Members represent 46 States and DC.
  • Operational since November 2005:
    • Activities include three in-person meetings/year, Web conferences, teleconferences, member extranet, steering committee, group projects.

Slide 9

Successes and Challenges


  • Very engaged with each other and AHRQ.
  • Product use.
  • Group projects.
  • Less turnover.


  • Emerging topics.

Slide 10

Lessons Learned

  • It can take time to achieve a learning network where exchange is two-way.
  • Members more likely to use products when they meet a specific need.
  • Need to allow additional time to track product use.

Slide 11

Overall Lessons: Learning Networks

  • Learning networks are best when interaction is needed to promote product use and assist with implementation.
  • Learning networks require members to interact in order to be effective.
  • Learning networks can take time to become successful.
Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: Learning Networks AHRQ Annual Conference (Text Version). October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care