How Do We Align Health Services Research and Quality Improvement?

Academic Article


  • Quality improvement (QI) initiatives and health services research (HSR) are commonly used to target health care quality. These disciplines are increasingly important because of the movement toward value-based health care as alternative payment and care delivery models drive institutions and investigators to focus on reducing unnecessary health care use and improving care coordination. QI efforts frequently target medical error and/or efficiency of care through the Plan-Do-Study-Act methodology. Within the QI framework, strategies for data display (e.g., Pareto charts, run charts, histograms, scatter plots) are leveraged to identify opportunities for intervention and improvement. HSR is a multidisciplinary field of study that seeks to identify the most effective way to organize, deliver, and finance health care to maximize the quality and value of care at both the individual and population levels. HSR uses a diverse set of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, such as case-control studies, cohort studies, randomized control trials, and semistructured interview/focus group evaluations. This manuscript provides examples of methodologic approaches for QI and HSR, discusses potential challenges associated with concurrent quality efforts, and identifies strategies to successfully leverage the strengths of each discipline in care delivery.
  • Keywords

  • Delivery of Health Care, Health Services Research, Humans, Medical Errors, Quality Assurance, Health Care, Quality Improvement, Quality of Health Care
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Das D; Wilfong L; Enright K; Rocque G
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 10
  • Volume

  • 40