Challenges to quality assurance and improvement efforts in behavioral health organizations: a qualitative assessment

Adm Policy Ment Health. 2013 May;40(3):190-8. doi: 10.1007/s10488-011-0393-5.


Behavioral health organizations have been increasingly required to implement plans to monitor and improve service quality. This qualitative study explores challenges that quality assurance and improvement (QA/I) personnel experience in performing their job in those practice settings. Sixteen QA/I personnel from different agencies in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., were interviewed face-to-face using a semi-structured instrument to capture challenges and a questionnaire to capture participant and agency characteristics. Data analysis followed a grounded theory approach. Challenges involved agency resources, agency buy-in, personnel training, competing demands, shifting standards, authority, and research capacity. Further research is needed to assess these challenges given expected outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Middle Aged
  • Missouri
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires