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QI and IRB Considerations

One of the main roles of an IRB is to ensure people participating in studies are at low risk of being harmed. Although most QI projects are considered Non-Human Subjects Research (NHSR) projects and therefore don’t require IRB oversight, IHQI recommends submitting an IRB application before beginning a QI project. If you are completing an IRB application for a QI project and you are new to QI, consider having someone with experience in QI and the IRB process review your application before you submit. IHQI staff and faculty are happy to help.


  • The IRB does not have the option of granting “retroactive” approval after a project is finished; you should err on the side of submitting or consulting with the IRB if there is any doubt.
  • Call the IRB/OHRE office – very helpful, want to guide investigators & improvers – 919-966-3113