Improvement Science

The power of existing interventions is not matched by the power of health systems to deliver them to those in greatest need, in a comprehensive way, and on an adequate scale.

                                                                                                                                                             -- Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO

Despite an abundance of evidence-based guidelines and consensus on what should be done, many simple, high-impact interventions capable of saving lives and alleviating suffering are not reaching the people who most need them.
Model for Improvement

Adapted from Associates in Process Improvement, 1996

Much of this implementation gap is related to weak health systems and processes of care delivery. The USAID ASSIST Project is designed to address this challenge, achieving better health outcomes and strengthening health systems in USAID-assisted countries, through improvement science

Improvement science is the application of scientific methods to make processes and systems work better.  The fundamental concept of improvement science is that improvement requires change. If a system is not changed, it can only be expected to continue to achieve the same results. In order to achieve a different level of performance, changes must be made to that system in ways that permit it to produce better results.

An equally important concept is that while improvement requires change, not every change is an improvement. Because not every change makes care better, changes must be tested and studied to determine whether the change improves care quality.

This section of the ASSIST Knowledge Portal provides information on improvement methods and tools and resources for building capacity for improvement to help you make changes to improve your own system of care.

We also invite you to browse our database of improvement stories or submit your own story of how you have improved care. 

 

 

The evolution of the Improving Health Care course

M. Rashad Massoud

Director, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

A story of continuous quality improvement

Improving voluntary medical male circumcision standards adherence and post-procedure follow-up in Uganda: A mixed methods study

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) has been demonstrated to reduce the transmission of HIV by 60% from HIV-positive women to HIV-negative men. Scaling up VMMC services requires that they be of high quality, socially accepted, and effective.

What we learned while improving care for 180,000 babies annually in India

Nigel Livesley

Regional Director for South Asia, USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Health Systems (ASSIST) project, University Research Co., LLC (URC)

In India, the USAID ASSIST Project worked with over 400 facilities – delivering approximately 180,000 babies per year – to use quality improvement (QI) approaches to provide better care to women and babies before, during, and immediately after delivery. Here are some of the lessons we learned.

2017 International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care

London, England

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