Measuring the Dose of Quality Improvement Initiatives

Med Care Res Rev. 2016 Apr;73(2):227-46. doi: 10.1177/1077558715603567. Epub 2015 Sep 1.


Although intervention dose-defined as the quality and quantity of an intervention and participation-might be key to understanding why some multisite quality improvement (QI) initiatives work and others do not, evaluations rarely consider dose, and there is no widely accepted method for measuring it. In this exploratory study, the authors examined the literature on QI dose, identified four methods for measuring QI dose, applied them to 14 communities participating in a QI initiative, examined whether the dose scores aligned with perceptions of QI dose among individuals knowledgeable of the initiative, and report on lessons learned. They conclude it is feasible to measure QI dose and found a high level of concordance between scores on a comprehensive dose measure and knowledgeable informants' perceptions. However, measuring QI dose presents many challenges, including subjective decisions about the elements of dose to include in a measure and the need for extensive data collection.

Keywords: community-level collaboration; evaluation; measurement; quality improvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration
  • Quality Improvement / standards
  • Quality Improvement / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care / standards