The State of Quality Improvement Science in Health

The well-documented problem of quality, the Affordable Care Act's numerous quality provisions, and economic realities for public and private payers have increased pressure on providers to improve health care quality. This paper reviews the evolution of QI initiatives, the current evidence about whether QI interventions work, QI’s promise for the future, and how to help it find success in health care.

The paper makes recommendations for enhancing QI efforts in health care, including providing stronger incentives for health care providers and organizations to prioritize quality; improving education, training, and technical assistance for providers; leveraging electronic health records or other health information technology that can support QI efforts; and increasing collaboration between federal agencies, foundations, private purchasers, professional associations, and industry groups.