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Research and Quality Improvement

Research and Quality Improvement

Research refers to a systematic, intensive study that aims at increasing the knowledge or understanding of something. It involves the systematic application of knowledge to generate new methods, systems, and processes and improve prototypes that meet specific requirements. Research should be conducted methodically based on a standard protocol. Quality improvement is the direct correlation between the level of improved health services and health outcomes. It entails data collection intending to achieve improvements in specific healthcare settings. Quality care is characterized by safety, patient-centeredness, efficiency, effectiveness, and equitability.

Research aims at generating new knowledge, whereas quality improvement focuses on improving healthcare processes. Research is designed to eliminate bias, have a fixed hypothesis, and involves a single test. Quality improvement accepts consistent bias, has a flexible hypothesis, and involves sequential tests (Grady et al., 2018). Research uses a systematic design and follows an unchanged protocol. Quality improvement uses an adaptive, iterative design, maybe systematic, and lacks randomization. Activities of quality improvement are mandated by an institution as part of its routine pertains. Research is not mandated by an institution or program (Hirschhorn et al., 2018). Research may place the participants at risk, whereas quality improvement does not. Quality improvement upholds privacy and data confidentiality (Olson et al., 2018). Results from research are not expected to directly affect institutional practice. Results from quality improvement affect institutional practice and provide corrective actions.

Quantitative research tests theories and assumptions. It is expressed in numbers and graphs. It establishes general facts about a topic. Qualitative research provides an understanding of thoughts, concepts, and experiences (Rutberg & Bouikidis, 2018). A workplace example of quantitative research is the determination of the effect of a new drug on the therapeutic outcome in a specific patient population. A workplace example of qualitative research is the understanding of the level of satisfaction of patients with the health care services provided. Results from the quantitative research were used to modify the medication regimen of the patient population. Results from the qualitative research were used to improve the services provided by the health care providers to the patients.


Grady, D., Redberg, R. F., & O’Malley, P. G. (2018). Quality improvement for quality improvement studies. JAMA Internal Medicine, 178(2), 187.

Hirschhorn, L. R., Ramaswamy, R., Devnani, M., Wandersman, A., Simpson, L. A., & Garcia-Elorrio, E. (2018). Research versus practice in quality improvement? Understanding how we can bridge the gap. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 30, 24–28.

Olson, R. A., Howard, F., Lapointe, V., Schellenberg, D., Nichol, A., Bowering, G., Curtis, S., Walter, A., Brown, S., Thompson, C., Bergin, J., Lomas, S., French, J., Halperin, R., Tyldesley, S., & Beckham, W. (2018). Provincial development of a patient-reported outcome initiative to guide patient care, quality improvement, and research. Healthcare Management Forum, 31(1), 13–17.

Rutberg, S., & Bouikidis, C. D. (2018). Focusing on the Fundamentals: A Simplistic Differentiation Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research. Nephrology Nursing Journal : Journal of the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association, 45(2), 209–212.


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Research and Quality Improvement

Describe the difference between research and quality improvement. Provide a workplace example where qualitative and quantitative research is applied and how it was used within your organization.

Research and Quality Improvement

Research and Quality Improvement

When replying to peers, discuss how these research findings might be incorporated into another healthcare setting.

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