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. 

 

 

Sparking a national movement to improve the quality of care in health care facilities

Sonali Vaid

Quality Improvement Consultant, WHO Collaborating Centre for Newborn Care at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

Pilot study of quality of care training and knowledge in Sub-Saharan African medical schools

This study examines the capacity of medical schools in sub-Saharan African countries to teach about the concepts of quality of care and include these concepts in their curriculum. While 45% of the schools surveyed are teaching on at least...

Pre-service Quality Improvement Module Outline

The purpose of this module is for students in health care professions to attain knowledge, attitudes, and competencies required to continuously improve health care once they are in active service. At the end of this course, the learner...

Quality Improvement Self-Study Guide for Faculty at Health Worker Training Institutions

To establish a health workforce competent in using improvement approaches to identify and address gaps in care, health workers should be taught improvement methods during pre-service training. However, pre-service training institution...

Setting Up a Self-Sustaining Quality Improvement Network in India

In May 2016, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital (KSCH) began using QI approaches to improve maternal and newborn care in their facility. This approach was very helpful for them in improving processes of care, and they achieved impressive...

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

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