What is the difference between Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance?
Quality assurance (QA) measures compliance against certain necessary standards. Quality improvement is a continuous improvement process. QA is required and normally focuses on individuals, while QI is a proactive approach to improve processes and systems. Standards and measures developed for quality assurance, however, can inform the quality improvement process. The chart below details and categorizes the distinctions between QA and QI.
Measuring compliance with standards
Continuously improving processes to meet standards
Outliers: "bad apples"
Contrasting QI and QA - Duke University
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
The Role of Quality Assurance Versus Continuous Quality Improvement - Journal of Vascular Surgery
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