Technical Review, No. 9: Closing the Quality Gap Vol. 1: Series Overview and Methodology

Structured Abstract

Full Title: Closing the Quality Gap: A Critical Analysis of Quality Improvement Strategies: Volume 1—Series Overview and Methodology

Objectives: Substantial evidence suggests that there is a wide gap between evidence-based best practices and those treatment practices actually used in day-to-day clinical medicine. To bring data to bear on this "quality gap" and the opportunities that exist to bridge it, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) engaged the Stanford-University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) to compile a critical analysis of the existing literature on quality improvement (QI) strategies for a selection of 20 disease and practice priorities identified in a 2003 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report.

Overview: In Volume 1 of Closing the Quality Gap, we provide an overview of our methods and the theoretical underpinnings of the field, which we will rely on to review and analyze the literature on the quality gap in a number of the IOM-identified priority areas that will appear in subsequent volumes. We describe the genesis of the quality implementation field, providing some historical perspective on the science of translating research into practice.

Methodology: We then set forth our methodology: our reviews generally are restricted to studies that are likely to have strong validity (randomized controlled trials, well controlled before-after studies, and interrupted time series studies). To ensure consistency across our reviews, we introduce a taxonomy for nine QI strategies:

  1. Provider reminder systems.
  2. Facilitated relay of clinical data to providers.
  3. Audit and feedback.
  4. Provider education.
  5. Patient education.
  6. Promotion of self-management.
  7. Patient reminders.
  8. Organizational change.
  9. Financial, regulatory, or legislative incentives.

We hope the volumes in this series will be an essential source of accessible and critical analyses of the evidence regarding QI strategies that can help close the quality gap.

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

Evidence-based Practice Center: Stanford-University of California, San Francisco
Topic Nominator: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Current as of August 2014
Internet Citation: Technical Review, No. 9: Closing the Quality Gap Vol. 1: Series Overview and Methodology: Structured Abstract. August 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/evidence-based-reports/qgap1tp.html