Quality improvement (QI) is a systematic, formal approach to the analysis of practice performance and efforts to improve performance.
A variety of approaches—or QI models—exist to help you collect and analyze data and test change. While it’s important to choose a reputable QI model to guide your efforts, it’s more important that you fully commit to using the QI process and good QI practices.
Understanding and properly implementing QI is essential to a well-functioning practice, and is necessary for any practice interested in improving efficiency, patient safety, or clinical outcomes.
In addition, good QI practices and improved patient outcomes position your practice for success by:
The QI process is grounded in the following basic concepts:
AAFP Office Champions Projects
The AAFP’s Office Champions Project are an example of QI demonstration projects in which participating family physician practices select staff and physician office champions to lead the implementation of an intervention. Read the results:
Quality improvement models present a systematic, formal framework for establishing QI processes in your practice. Examples of common QI models include the following:
Quality improvement tools are standalone strategies or processes that can help you better understand, analyze, or communicate your QI efforts. Examples of QI tools include run charts, process maps, and fishbone diagrams (ihi.org).