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Abstract

The clinical research enterprise is changing in fundamental ways. The bright line that separates research and clinical care is beginning to fade, as both “research” and “nonresearch” converge into and are embodied by the concept of the learning health care system. Here, data about care and operations are translated into practice improvement. VA has been a leader in this area, and based on its use of electronic health records and other inputs, has formed large databases and a data-driven health care system. These changes raise questions about the traditional approach to “research subject” protection.