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. 

 

 

Virtual versus in-person quality improvement coaching support in India: A brief analysis of resource expenditures

In December 2016, ASSIST started providing support to health workers of three hospitals in Meghalaya – a day’s travel from ASSIST’s office in New Delhi. To meet the challenge associated with providing on-site coaching to these facilities,...

Anyone can learn improvement — and here is something to help!

Kim Ethier Stover

Senior Improvement Advisor, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

Silvia Holschneider

Senior Improvement Advisor for Reporting and Deliverables, USAID ASSIST Project

Why it is Important to Sex-Disaggregate Data in Quality Improvement

The USAID ASSIST Project integrates gender considerations in quality improvement in order to improve outcomes for all — women and men, girls and boys. This video explains a critical part of gender integration in detail: collecting and...

National Strategic Plan for Quality Improvement, Hygiene and Safety

Côte d’Ivoire has made health care quality improvement a key priority of the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene (Ministère de la Santé et de l'Hygiène Publique). In June 2016, a national policy document for improving the quality of...

Améliorer les Soins des Mères et des Nouveau-Nés

Ce guide décrit six étapes pour améliorer les soins de santé et raconte une histoire sur la façon dont le personnel d’une structure a suivi ces six étapes pour dispenser de meilleurs soins. Dans cette histoire, le personnel a décidé de...

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