Guidelines for appraisal and publication of PDSA quality improvement

Qual Manag Health Care. 2004 Jan-Mar;13(1):33-9. doi: 10.1097/00019514-200401000-00003.


Plan-do-study-act (PDSA) quality improvement is the application of the scientific method to implement and test the effects of change ideas on the performance of the health care system. Users of quality improvement could benefit with markers to gauge the "best" science. Four core questions can determine the value of a quality improvement study: Is the quality improvement study pertinent and relevant? Are the results valid? Are appropriate criteria used to interpret the results? Will the study help you with your practice or organization of care? A set of guidelines is provided to help answer these questions. Similar guidelines exist for randomized clinical trials and clinical-epidemiologic observational studies. Analogous to these existing research guidelines, the PDSA quality improvement guidelines will provide researchers and reviewers with succinct standards of methodological rigor to assist in critical appraisal of quality improvement protocols and publications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Publications*
  • Total Quality Management / standards*
  • United States