Quality Improvement or Research--Deciding Which Road to Take

Crit Care Nurse. 2014 Dec;34(6):58-63. doi: 10.4037/ccn2014177.


Critical care nurses are constantly challenged to provide safe, high-quality patient care at a low cost with increasingly scarce resources while implementing the latest evidence-based practices into their own clinical practice. This article is the first in a 4-part series to provide a practical quality improvement guide for critical care nurses interested in implementing system process or performance improvement projects within their own units. Part 1 is designed to answer the question "What method is better for measuring real-world patient outcomes-quality improvement or clinical research?" A broad overview of the differences between quality improvement and clinical research is provided. A newly published checklist to differentiate between attributes of each process is introduced, and readers can test their own knowledge between quality improvement and research with a quick quiz of studies recently published in Critical Care Nurse.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Critical Care Nursing / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Humans
  • Quality Improvement / standards*