Quality and safety in the time of Coronavirus: design better, learn faster

Int J Qual Health Care. 2021 Mar 5;33(1):mzaa051. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzaa051.


The COVID-19 pandemic has required health systems to change much faster than normal. Many staff have experienced training in quality improvement and patient safety methods which can be used to support the design of new systems and to accelerate learning about new and adapted practices. This article sets out the principles of quality improvement and patient safety science, applying them in a selection of approaches, methods and tools, which may be useful in crisis situations such as the current pandemic. The article also makes reference to several resources which may be of use to those keen to advance their knowledge.

Keywords: COVID-19; human factors; improvement science; patient safety; quality improvement; teamwork.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Group Processes
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Safety / standards*
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration*
  • Quality Improvement / standards
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Time Factors
  • Total Quality Management / organization & administration*