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. 



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)

2017 International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care

London, England

Improving Health Care eLearning Course

This interactive virtual course provides the same curriculum used to orient USAID ASSIST Project headquarters staff and Chiefs of Party to improvement. The course is structured to give a broad overview of the science of improvement, going...

Guía de capacitación del facilitador: Mejorando la atención en salud

El documento Mejorando la Atención en Salud: Guía de Capacitación para Facilitadores , fue desarrollada para brindar apoyo a un capacitador en mejoramiento de la calidad a fin de que conduzca una capacitación presencial convencional usando...

Guía de capacitación del participante: Mejorando la atención en salud

Este guía de capitación del participante fue desarrollado para acompañar al curso, virtual o presencial, de mejorar la atención en salud, diseñado por M. Rashad Massoud . El curso es una introducción a la temática relacionada con la...

VIDEO: El abordaje de seis pasos para identificar y cerrar las brechas relacionadas con el género

Este video en español se presenta nuestro abordaje de seis pasos para identificar y cerrar las brechas relacionadas con el género . ASSIST utiliza un abordaje holístico para integrar el género durante el mejoramiento de la calidad de...

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...