Health care systems throughout the world are facing challenges. To ensure fitness-for-purpose, effectiveness and efficiency of a health system, creative policy and practice responses are needed. Decision-making on all levels should be supported by the best available evidence, systematically and transparently providing access to high-quality research that addresses health system needs, including the evaluation of expected benefits and costs of different courses of action. To support this evidence-informed policy approach in Switzerland, the Department of Health Sciences and Medicine together with several partner institutions is developing the Swiss Learning Health System (SLHS). The goal of the SLHS is to facilitate the flow of information between research, policy and practice. The SLHS seeks to create a continuous learning process that matches research need, as identified by stakeholders, and research results. This in turn can enhance a culture of shared responsibility creating a learning environment that links all actors – patients, health care providers, insurers, policy makers and researchers – in the common cause to strengthen the health system, improve population health, and ultimately achieve better value for the money in health care.