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. 



Using Quality Improvement Approaches for Better Community Health

ICHC Blog Series

This post is part of the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference blog series.

By: Kim Ethier Stover, Senior Quality Improvement Advisor, USAID ASSIST Project

How to Conduct a Gender Analysis

The USAID ASSIST Project integrates gender considerations in quality improvement in order to improve outcomes for all — women and men, girls and boys. ASSIST partner WI-HER, LLC developed an innovative and effective six-step approach to...

Point of Care Quality Improvement (POCQI): Improving the Quality of Care for Mothers and Newborns in Health Facilities

“Point of Care Quality Improvement (POCQI): Improving the Quality of Care for Mothers and Newborns in Health Facilities” uses focused learning objectives, case studies, games and other activities to build the knowledge and skills of...

Quality Improvement in Intensive Care Medicine: Leveraging Teamwork to Improve and Optimize Care Delivery

Intensive care medicine is complex, quick-moving, and often requires the involvement of many separate actors working in concert to provide safe, quality care to patients in life-threatening or dangerous situations. Evidence-based practices...

Improving Health Care: Training Participant Guide

This training participant guide was developed to accompany a two-day improvement training course designed by M. Rashad Massoud , translating the in-person course to a user-friendly guide for participants. The training course, “ Improving...

Improving Health Care: Training Facilitator Guide

This training facilitator guide was developed to support a quality improvement trainer to lead a traditional classroom training using the same content and slides as delivered in the online course Improving Health Care . It was first...