Kidney transplantation increases life expectancy and improves quality of life for children with end-stage kidney disease, yet sequelae of transplantation and treatment make it difficult for transplant recipients to enjoy health and quality of life similar to their healthy peers. The NAPRTCS network was among the first to use multicenter data to inform improvements in care and outcomes for children with a kidney transplant through observational research. Now, with new technologies and unprecedented access to data, it is possible to create learning health systems as envisioned by the US National Academy of Sciences to seamlessly integrate research and continuous improvement of clinical care. In this review, we present two pre-eminent North American networks focused on using multicenter data to drive improved care and outcomes for children with a kidney transplant. Whereas, for the past 30 years NAPRTCS has focused on discovery of best practices through observational research and clinical trials, the Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative, established in 2016, engages patients, families, clinicians, and researchers in redesigning the healthcare delivery system to enable practice change and continuous improvement of health outcomes. We discuss the history and past contributions of these networks, as well as current activities, barriers, and potential future solutions to more fully realize the vision of a true learning health system for pediatric kidney transplant recipients.
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