How Academic Health Systems Can Be Ready for the Next Pandemic.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The COVID-19 pandemic created significant challenges for academic health systems (AHSs) across their tripartite mission of providing clinical care, conducting research, and educating learners. Despite these challenges, AHSs played an invaluable role in responding to the pandemic. Clinicians worked tirelessly to care for patients, and institutions quickly reoriented their care delivery systems. Furthermore, AHSs played an important role in advancing science, launching studies and clinical trials to examine new vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. However, there is room for improvement; AHSs can use lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to reshape their operations for the future. To prepare for the next pandemic, AHSs must modernize, adapt, and transform their clinical operations, research infrastructure, and educational programs to include public health and to build surveillance capacity for detecting, monitoring, and managing emerging outbreaks. In this Invited Commentary, the authors describe the opportunities AHSs have to build on their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways they can take advantage of their unique strengths in each of their 3 mission areas. Within clinical care, AHSs can reach patients outside traditional clinical settings, build national and regional networks, advance data-driven insights, engage with the community, and support and protect the workforce. Within research, they can leverage data science and artificial intelligence, perform pandemic forecasting, leverage the social and behavioral sciences, conduct clinical trials, and build a research and development preparedness and operational plan. Within education, AHSs can promote remote learning, make interprofessional learning the norm, and build a system of continuing education.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dzau, VJ; Ellaissi, WF; Krishnan, KRR; Balatbat, CA

Published Date

  • April 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 97 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 479 - 483

PubMed ID

  • 34966030

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1938-808X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/ACM.0000000000004572


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States