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Author Notes:

Reprint requests: Michael J Wolf, MD, Emory University School of Medicine, Sibley Heart Center, 2835 Brandywine Rd, Atlanta, GA, 30341. wolfm@kidsheart.com, 0002-8703


Research Funding:

The study was supported by U01 grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (HL068269, HL068270, HL068279, HL068281, HL068285, HL068292, HL068290, HL068288, HL085057, HL109781, HL109737) and the National Science Foundation (IIP-0832390, IIP-1361532).

The contents of this work are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Science Foundation.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems
  • Cardiovascular System & Cardiology

Rationale and methodology of a collaborative learning project in congenital cardiac care


Journal Title:

American Heart Journal


Volume 174


, Pages 129-137

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background Collaborative learning is a technique through which individuals or teams learn together by capitalizing on one another's knowledge, skills, resources, experience, and ideas. Clinicians providing congenital cardiac care may benefit from collaborative learning given the complexity of the patient population and team approach to patient care. Rationale and development Industrial system engineers first performed broad-based time-motion and process analyses of congenital cardiac care programs at 5 Pediatric Heart Network core centers. Rotating multidisciplinary team site visits to each center were completed to facilitate deep learning and information exchange. Through monthly conference calls and an in-person meeting, we determined that duration of mechanical ventilation following infant cardiac surgery was one key variation that could impact a number of clinical outcomes. This was underscored by one participating center's practice of early extubation in the majority of its patients. A consensus clinical practice guideline using collaborative learning was developed and implemented by multidisciplinary teams from the same 5 centers. The 1-year prospective initiative was completed in May 2015, and data analysis is under way. Conclusion Collaborative learning that uses multidisciplinary team site visits and information sharing allows for rapid structured fact-finding and dissemination of expertise among institutions. System modeling and machine learning approaches objectively identify and prioritize focused areas for guideline development. The collaborative learning framework can potentially be applied to other components of congenital cardiac care and provide a complement to randomized clinical trials as a method to rapidly inform and improve the care of children with congenital heart disease.

Copyright information:

© 2016 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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