The cost-effectiveness of quality improvement projects: a conceptual framework, checklist and online tool for considering the costs and consequences of implementation-based quality improvement

J Eval Clin Pract. 2016 Feb;22(1):26-30. doi: 10.1111/jep.12421. Epub 2015 Jul 23.


In resource constrained systems, decision makers should be concerned with the efficiency of implementing improvement techniques and technologies. Accordingly, they should consider both the costs and effectiveness of implementation as well as the cost-effectiveness of the innovation to be implemented. An approach to doing this effectively is encapsulated in the 'policy cost-effectiveness' approach. This paper outlines some of the theoretical and practical challenges to assessing policy cost-effectiveness (the cost-effectiveness of implementation projects). A checklist and associated (freely available) online application are also presented to help services develop more cost-effective implementation strategies.

Keywords: cost-consequence analysis; cost-effectiveness analysis; guideline recommendations; quality improvement; research implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Checklist*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Quality Improvement / economics*
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration