Finding Order in Heterogeneity

Types of Quality-Improvement Intervention Publications

Published In: Quality and Safety In Health Care, v. 17, no. 6, Dec. 2008, p. 403-408

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Lisa V. Rubenstein, Susanne Hempel, Melissa M. Farmer, Steven M. Asch, Elizabeth Yano, Denise Dougherty, Paul G. Shekelle

Read More

Access further information on this document at BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

BACKGROUND: Stakeholders in quality improvement agree on the need for augmenting and synthesising the scientific literature supporting it. The diversity of perspectives, approaches, and contexts critical to advancing quality improvement science, however, creates challenges. The paper explores the heterogeneity in clinical quality improvement intervention (QII) publications. METHODS: A preliminary classification framework was developed for QII articles, aiming for categories homogeneous enough to support coherent scientific discussion on QII reporting standards and facilitate systematic review. QII experts were asked to identify articles important to QII science. The framework was tested and revised by applying it to the article set. The final framework screened articles into (1) empirical literature on development and testing of QIIs; (2) QII stories, theories, and frameworks; (3) QII literature syntheses and meta-analyses; or (4) development and testing of QII-related tools. To achieve homogeneity, category (1) required division into (1a) development of QIIs; 1(b) history, documentation, or description of QIIs; or (1c) success, effectiveness or impact of QIIs. RESULTS: By discussing unique issues and established standards relevant to each category, QII stakeholders can advance QII practice and science, including the scope and conduct of systematic literature reviews.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.