The Next Frontier of Healthcare Quality Improvement: Remaining Gaps and Priorities
This paper is a synthesis of the views of leaders from the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project on where the field of improving healthcare is heading in the coming years. This paper outlines the journey traveled to-date and the current status of the field of healthcare improvement, including the unfinished agenda. In this paper, the writers also forecast their views on the next frontiers for quality improvement. The future directions or “next frontier” in quality improvement include: integrating or institutionalizing quality improvement into the healthcare system; speeding up the processes for improvement through collaboration and shared learning; enhancing the systems to build a foundation for evidence and data; enhancing the learning agenda; nurturing a demand and pull for quality improvement through civil society engagement; and harnessing the power of improvement beyond improving outcomes of care to include efficiencies of care delivery, patient and provider satisfaction. This paper is intended for those leading, managing, or working on improving healthcare. This paper, while based on the experiences of the authors on the USAID ASSIST Project, also reflects on lessons from other work in the field of improving healthcare at large.