HLT 362 Describe the difference between research and quality improvement

HLT 362 Describe the difference between research and quality improvement

HLT 362 Describe the difference between research and quality improvement

The main goal of research is to increase the knowledge and understanding of a specific variable and its possible correlation between another variable. One example would be assessing and analyzing the effectiveness of a drug. Quality improvement, on the other hand focuses on the collection of data and statistics to improve health outcomes. An example of this would be overtime data collected stating certain amounts of insulin helps control blood sugar better and the amount of times insulin is needed to help better control blood sugars. This is all data that is collected overtime, and overall helps improve health. Health care providers and nurses carry out a QI project, it may not be the implementation of something new, but it may be improvement upon something that is already in place (Helbig, 2020). “Quantitative research usually aims to provide precise, unbiased estimates of parameters of interest for the entire population which requires a large, randomly selected sample” (Hannigan, 2018). Quantitative research uses numbers and numeric variables (Helbig, 2020). Qualitative research is collected through descriptive characteristics that cannot be measured with numbers like quantitative research can (Helbig, 2020). Instead of numbers they use open-ended questions, interviews, and observation. In my hospital, leadership uses qualitative research to assess patients’ satisfaction in their hospital and ensure they feel they are receiving the care the need and anything else. They ensure this by rounding on patients and asking them open ended questions on their stay and interviewing the patient. Based on the data collected from patients, leadership connects with the managers on the floor to work on the areas needed according to the patient’s needs. In my workplace we quantitative research by assessing the number of times a patient is readmitted. My hospital strives to have a good turn around and when patients constantly are readmitted there is something not going right in the course of direction. My hospital keeps track of the readmissions and when people get admitted we assess them for high risk of being readmitted as well. When patients are readmitted case management and social worker instantly get a notification to look into their care at home and any possible needs they may need to further reduce readmissions.



Hannigan, A. (2018, June). Public and patient involvement in Quantitative Health Research: A statistical perspective. Health expectations : an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy. Retrieved February 24, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6250860/


Helbig, J. (2020). Reader. BibliU. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from https://bibliu.com/app/#/view/books/1000000000581/epub/Chapter4.html#page_50 

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To generate new information, researchers use a technique (quantitative or qualitative). EBP looks for and utilizes the most up-to-date clinical data, which is frequently derived from research, when making patient-care choices. To enhance patient outcomes, QI employs methodical methods.

Quality assurance (QA) is a continuous improvement process centered on humans, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), whereas quality improvement (QI) is a continuous improvement approach focused on procedures and systems.


Provide a workplace example where qualitative and quantitative research is applied and how it was used within your organization.


Quantitative research, such as online surveys, is more numbers-oriented and can aid in the evaluation of hypotheses generated by qualitative research. Adding a quantitative component to qualitative research might help you get a more comprehensive (and measurable) picture of the topic you’re studying.


Qualitative data includes the color of a football player’s hair, the color of automobiles in a parking lot, the letter grades of pupils in a classroom, the kinds of coins in a jar, and the shape of sweets in a variety pack, if no numerical value is ascribed to any of these descriptors.


According to a study on workplace drug usage prevention, both qualitative and quantitative techniques have problems.


Qualitative Research Methodologies


When commencing your assessment, qualitative approaches are a fantastic place to start. These techniques might help you describe a problem and give insight into your intervention strategy.


Observation, management meetings, focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and expert consultation can all be used to accomplish this.


Quantitative Approaches


Quantitative approaches are advantageous since they require less time to implement than qualitative ones. They’re also easier to assess, and they could offer more objective, unambiguous findings.


– Pre-existing data, self-report studies, and drug testing can all help with this.



Cleland, J. (2015). Exploring versus measuring: considering the fundamental differences between qualitative and quantitative research. Researching medical education, 1-14.Newhouse, R. P., Pettit, J. C., Poe, S., & Rocco, L. (2006). The slippery slope: differentiating between quality improvement and research. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 36(4), 211-219.


Grimshaw, J., Eccles, M., Thomas, R., MacLennan, G., Ramsay, C., Fraser, C., & Vale, L. (2006). Toward evidence-based quality improvement. Journal of general internal medicine, 21(2), S14.


Abildgaard, J. S., Saksvik, P. Ø., & Nielsen, K. (2016). How to measure the intervention process? An assessment of qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection in the process evaluation of organizational interventions. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1380.

Surveys are an excellent example of a quantitative approach. Surveys can be used in many different ways in a

HLT 362 Describe the difference between research and quality improvement
HLT 362 Describe the difference between research and quality improvement

healthcare setting. Most surveys in healthcare are to improve patient experience and satisfaction. “Organizations can use surveys to engage patients between office visits, assist them with health management and help them stay on track with their care plans” (Brogan, 2019). There is also a variety of other types of surveys, including health risk assessments, gaps-in-care surveys, medication adherence surveys, remote health monitoring surveys and post-discharge surveys (Brogan, 2019). Gaps-in-care surveys can help facilities grow in opportunities that present themselves from patients. This can involve preventive measures taken to stay healthy.



Brogan, N. (2019, April 4). Industry voices-6 types of healthcare surveys that can improve patient experiences. Fierce Healthcare. Retrieved February 25, 2023, from https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practices/industry-voices-6-types-healthcare-surveys-can-improve-patient-experiences 

In simple terms research is searching for new knowledge or using existing knowledge to improve ways of doing something. In other words, it is used to find answers to questions. Research is used to investigate or study and find knowledge about material or resources to establish facts and develop new conclusions. It involves the collection of data,  organization, and analysis of evidence to increase understanding of a topic.  For example, in healthcare research is used to improve quality care and enhance the patient experience or prevent diseases and cure them. One very common form of health research is the clinical trial, in which patients volunteer to participate in studies to test the efficacy and safety of new medical interventions (Institute of Medicine).

Quality Improvement (QI) is a systematic approach that is guided by collected data with the purpose of improving quality care. (Helbig, 2021). For example, healthcare professionals review patient and other medical data and analyze it then use it to provide quality care to their patients. With the information, they collected from the data, they use it to identify areas of improvement and also to identify areas that are working toward excellence. Their goal is to have positive patient care outcomes. Some quality improvements in healthcare include, decrease hospital readmissions, improved care coordination among departments, and decreased medication administration errors.


One example of the application of qualitative and quantitative research at the organization where I work is used to identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement. The methods they use include management and employee meetings, observations (ex. Employees’ behavior), they hire expert consultation, surveys and perform drug testing to new hires.




Helbig, J. et al. (2021). Applied Statistics for Health Care. (n.d.).Statiscal Analysis; lc.gcumedia.com. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from https://bibliu.com/app/#/view/books/1000000000581/epub/Chapter4.html#page_72


Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Health Research and the Privacy of Health Information: The HIPAA Privacy Rule; Nass SJ, Levit LA, Gostin LO, editors. Beyond the HIPAA Privacy Rule: Enhancing Privacy, Improving Health Through Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009. 3, The Value, Importance, and Oversight of Health Research. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK9571/