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Learning Cycles: Bridging Research, Policy and Practice

The research agenda within the Swiss Learning Health System (SLHS) is developed in strong collaboration with all partners involved to facilitate the seamless flow of information and evidence at the levels of policy, research and practice and translate it into a continuous learning process for all actors in the Swiss health system.

As depicted in the graph below, 5 steps can be distinguished:

In a first step, the SLHS network and relevant stakeholders are asked to identify pressing topics and challenges in the health system.

Based on their suggestions, a topic list is built and updated regularly as a basis for the issue prioritization process.

Evidence Synthesis
Once issues have been identified and prioritized, the Management and Coordination Office of the SLHS issues calls for evidence syntheses, namely Policy Briefs or Rapid Response Syntheses, to which all academic partner institutions can reply.
Policy Briefs can serve as standalone documents. In the SLHS they serve as a basis for Stakeholder Dialogues. A Policy Brief describes an issue by explaining relevant contextual factors and provides a number of (evidence-informed) recommendations on how to address the issue. For each possible recommendation, relevant aspects and potential barriers and facilitators to their implementation are explained. Rapid Response Syntheses are similarly structured but aim at providing quicker input for issues of high urgency.

Dialogue and Agreement
In a next step, the SLHS organizes Stakeholder Dialogues that bring together stakeholders with a strong interest in the issue under discussion. During the dialogue stakeholders discuss the issue, recommendations, and barriers and facilitators presented in the Policy Brief, and work collaboratively towards a common understanding of the issue and the best course of action.

The SLHS Management and Coordination Office will also support and evaluate implementation efforts led by relevant stakeholders. Feedback will be presented back to relevant stakeholders in order to further foster learning cycles.

Our thematic areas

The SLHS with its partners develops Policy Briefs and Stakeholder Dialogues in the following thematic areas

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