Learning networks in pediatric heart failure and transplantation

Matthew J. O’Connor, Angela Lorts, David Kwiatkowski, Ryan Butts, Aliessa Barnes, Aamir Jeewa, Christopher Knoll, Matthew Fenton, Melissa McQueen, Melissa K. Cousino, Svetlana Shugh, David N. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Learning networks have emerged in medicine as a novel organizational structure that contains elements of quality improvement, education, and research with the goal of effecting rapid improvements in clinical care. In this article, the concept of a learning network is defined and highlighted in the field of pediatric heart failure and transplantation. Methods: Learning networks are defined, with particular attention paid to the recent creation of the Advanced Cardiac Therapies Improving Outcomes Network (ACTION) for children with heart failure and those being supported with ventricular assist devices (VAD). Results: The mission, goals, and organizational structure of ACTION are described, and recent initiatives promoted by ACTION are highlighted, such as stroke reduction initiatives, practice harmonization protocols, and use of ACTION data to support the recent US Food and Drug Administration approval of newer VAD for pediatric patients. Conclusions: The learning network, exemplified by ACTION, is distinguished from traditional clinical research collaboratives by contributions in research, quality improvement, patient-reported outcomes, and education, and serves as an effective vehicle to drive clinical improvement in the care of children with advanced heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14073
JournalPediatric Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • children
  • heart failure
  • heart transplantation
  • learning networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Transplantation


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