Closing the Quality Gap: A Critical Analysis of Quality Improvement Strategies, Volume 1--Series Overview and Methodology


Closing the Quality Gap: A Critical Analysis of Quality Improvement Strategies, Volume 1--Series Overview and Methodology


This report (the first volume in a series) provides an overview of methods and theoretical underpinnings of the quality improvement (QI) field of study. A critical analysis of the existing literature on quality improvement strategies for a selection of 20 disease and practice priorities identified in a 2003 Institute of Medicine report was compiled to bring data to bear on this “quality gap” and the opportunities that exist to bridge it.

This volume presents the following information:

  • Reviews the genesis of the QI field, providing historical perspective on the science of translating research into practice
  • Sets forth the carefully designed methodology used to review the vast amount of existing quality literature on particular diseases
  • Provides some context for the field of QI implementation with a summary of theoretic underpinnings that may influence the development of QI interventions, and an overview of selective efforts that have been made to adopt and modify interventions from outside of health care

This report is intended to assist a wide range of users:

  • Policymakers can use the detailed evidence review to prioritize quality improvement strategies and choose how best to close the quality gaps in their organizations.
  • Researchers can find detailed information about well-scrutinized areas of treatment, while learning of other areas in need of further exploration.
  • Groups and individuals charged with funding research will be able to identify high-yield areas of concern that warrant future research support .
  • Patients can learn quality improvement strategies that they can help to promote, while gaining a deeper understanding of the nature and extent of quality gaps, as well as the systemic changes necessary to close them.
  • Clinicians and trainees can see a broad spectrum of approaches to improving the quality of care. Some of these approaches fall within the control of individual practitioners, while others will require major systemic changes at the local level or beyond.


University of California, San Francisco-Stanford Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC)

Funding Sources:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality


Release Date: 2004
Original Summary: December 2004
Last Updated: 05/07/14

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