Great article: “A brief history of quality improvement”

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement recently recommended a paper by Parry (2014). I took a bit of time to review it this morning and throughly enjoyed it and took more than a few new insights away after reading it.

Gareth Parry 2014

I highly recommend taking the time to read it. Here are two quotes that stood out for me.

We suggest that when designing or understanding improvement initiatives, more attention be paid to (1) learning what is takes to bring about improvement; (2) the need to amend interventions to adapt to local settings (contexts); (3) the idea that concepts, rather than fixed protocols, are a good starting point for people to test and learn whether improvement interventions can be amended to their setting; (4) providing a prediction, or degree of belief that a model will achieve a particular impact in a specific setting or context, and (5) the concept that improvement requires social change and that people are more likely to act if they believe.


Systems awareness and systems design are important for health professionals but are not enough. They are enabling mechanisms only. It is the ethical dimension of individuals that is essential to a system’s success. Ultimately, the secret of quality is love. You have to love your patient, you have to love your profession, you have to love your God. If you have love, you can then work backward to monitor and improve the system.


Both of these quotes made me stop and think. At some level they resonated with thoughts I’ve had, but they served to add clarity I had not previously had. Hopefully they will help renew your energy as much as they did mine.

Parry, G. J. (2014). A brief history of quality improvement. Journal of Oncology Practice, 10(3), 196–9. doi:10.1200/JOP.2014.001436


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