Quality improvement and research

Quality improvement and research

What is the difference between quality improvement and research?

There are no concrete definitions to differentiate quality improvement (QI) and research projects. The MSH REB and the Office of Research work closely with researchers to determine if QI initiatives should be vetted by the REB.

The ARECCI Ethics Screening Tool is useful in determining a project’s primary purpose (i.e., research or QI), category of risk and associated review action.

Additionally, the chart below may be used to review new projects to determine the need for REB review (used with permission from the Research office at Michael Garron Hospital):

RESEARCH
(requires REB review)
CLINICAL AUDIT
(may or may not require REB review)
SERVICE EVALUATION
(may or may not require REB review)
Designed and conducted to generate new knowledge Designed and conducted to provide new knowledge to provide best care Designed and conducted to define current care
Quantitative research; hypothesis driven Designed to answer the question "Does this service reach a predetermined standard?" Designed to answer the question "What standard does this service achieve?"
Measures against a collected baseline Measures against a standard Measures current service without reference to a standard
May involve a new treatment and/or intention to change practice Does not involve a new treatment Does not involve a new treatment
May involve additional therapies, samples or investigations / focus Involves no more than administration of questionnaire or record analysis Involves no more than administration of simple interview, questionnaire or record analysis
May involve allocation to treatment groups NOT chosen by healthcare provider (HCP) or patient Does not involve allocation to treatment groups; the HCP and patients choose treatment Does not involve allocation to treatment groups; the HCP and patients choose treatment
May involve randomization (when some participants are randomly assigned to receive treatment and others to receive placebo) Does NOT involve randomization Does NOT involve randomization

Please contact the Office of Research at ResearchAdmin@msh.on.ca or 905-472-7373 ext. 2279 to discuss further.