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Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation

Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation

Quality improvement encompasses all actions targeted at improving outcomes, standardizing processes, and attaining predictable outcomes. Backhouse & Ogunlayi (2020) note that quality improvement provides a systematic approach to establishing a culture of improving self, services, and products within the organization. The overarching principle behind quality improvement in healthcare is to lower the risk of adverse events, improve the efficiency of practice, and ensure the safety of the patients. These can be achieved through quality improvement projects and research.

Used synonymously in some settings, quality projects differ from quality research on several fronts. Quality improvement projects utilize research evidence to improve aspects of institutional processes. Research findings built upon existing knowledge are inculcated in hospital processes and initiatives to improve already established deficits in practice (Backhouse & Ogunlayi, 2020). Examples of healthcare-based quality improvement projects include improving the coordination of care during the care continuum, reducing hospital readmission rates, improving the adoption of valuable health information technologies, and others (Drew & Pandit, 2020). A commonality exists in these projects as all build on already established clinical practices. Additionally, they are informed by research.

On the other hand, quality improvement research focuses on determining whether something works. It entails all processes and actions that can lead to measurable improvements in healthcare (Faiman, 2021). Unlike quality improvement projects, research must not necessarily be based on existing knowledge. Research projects seek to address gaps in healthcare often apparent during healthcare operationalization (Iqbal et al., 2019). The distinguishing feature of research is the measurability of the outcomes and how the findings are used to address the identified gap in practice.

My scholarly project interrogates the impact mental health stigma has on minorities seeking mental healthcare. Quality improvement strategies such as data collection and analysis, determination of potential areas for improvement, and communication of research findings apply to the project. Like quality improvement projects, this scholarly project builds on existing knowledge and seeks to address a gap in conventional mental healthcare.


Backhouse, A., & Ogunlayi, F. (2020). Quality Improvement Into Practice. BMJ, m865.

Drew, J. R., & Pandit, M. (2020). Why healthcare leadership should embrace quality improvement. BMJ, m872.

Faiman, PhD, MSN, APRN-BC, AOCN®, FAAN, B. (2021). Quality Improvement Projects and clinical research studies. Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology12(4).

Iqbal, U., Humayun, A., & Li, Y.-C. (Jack). (2019). Healthcare quality improvement and measurement strategies and the challenges ahead. International Journal for Quality in Health Care31(1), 1–1.


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Differentiate between quality improvement projects and quality improvement research.

Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation

Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation

How can you use quality improvement in your scholarly project?

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