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. 



Zika webinar series - Why It’s Critical to Strengthen a Public Health Emergency Response with Quality Improvement (QI): What We Learned Implementing QI in the Zika Response


On September 25th, the USAID Zika team in collaboration with GHPoD hosted the first in a webinar series to highlight accomplishments and lessons learned from partners across the response.  There were presentations by Dr. M. Rashad Massoud, Senior Vice President, and Dr. Jorge Hermida, Regional Director for Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean, from the USAID ASSIST project titled Why It’s Critical to Strengthen a Public Health Emergency Response with Quality Improvement (QI): What We Learned Implementing QI in the Zika Response. Dr. Massoud and Dr.

Shushufindi General Hospital at the Forefront of Quality Zika Care in Sucumbios, Ecuador

Team members of the three collaboratives executed with the assistance of the ASSIST- Zika Project working on the continuous improvement of quality Zika health care at Shushufindi General Hospital. “ASSIST’s technical assistance has enabled...

Director Regional del Proyecto ASSIST de USAID Vista Paraguay

El Doctor Jorge Hermida, Director Regional del Proyecto ASSIST de USAID, realizó una visita técnica a Paraguay del 24 de junio al 2 de julio pasado. Durante su visita, el Dr. Hermida participó del Taller de Sostenibilidad y Transición,...

Ministerio de Salud de Paraguay Realiza Taller de Sostenibilidad y Transicion

Con la participación del Director del Proyecto ASSIST DE USAID, Dr. Rashad Massoud, el Director Regional del proyecto, Doctor Jorge Hermida y el equipo del proyecto ASSIST de Paraguay, el Ministerio de Salud se reunió para desarrollar un...

The Involvement of Routine Dental Care in Prenatal Care as a Tool for Quality Counseling in the context of Zika in El Salvador

Dr. Lorena Arevalo, dentist UCSFI San Isidro, Cabanas sharing Zika prevention methods with patients during dental treatments UCSFI San Isidro is one of the Health Centers in the north of El Salvador that USAID's Project Applying Science to...

Screening for Microcephaly in Newborns in the Dominican Republic

Screening for Microcephaly in Newborns in the Dominican Republic "We had to reeducate ourselves mentally. Even if people say: ‘there is no Zika’ since in the country the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is endemic, we must continue with prevention...