Skip to main content

Author: Christine M. Walsh-Kelly, November 4, 2016


IRB and Office of Human Research Ethics

Improvement projects and initiatives should be submitted to the IRB for review, especially if you are anticipating presenting or publishing results. Most QI activities are eligible for an exemption which results in fewer application and review requirements.

A copy of a sample application can be accessed here. The Exemptions Section begins on page 4. The application also provides links to helpful information. Visit the IRB and Office of Human Research Ethics webpage for complete IRB information including contact numbers for questions or clarifications.

QI and IRB Considerations

Research QI Differentiation Tool

SQUIRE Guidelines

The SQUIRE (Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence) Guidelines for Quality Improvement Reporting: Explanation and Elaboration (2015) outlines the key items that authors should consider when writing manuscripts describing formal studies of quality improvement. Most of the items are common to all scientific reporting, but all have been modified to effectively describe the unique nature of medical improvement work.

Options for Quality and Safety Manuscript Submissions

Journal for Healthcare Quality

Sponsor: National Association of Healthcare Quality

Topics of Interest

  • Quality improvement
  • Patient safety
  • Performance measurement
  • Best practices in clinical and operational processes
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Information technology
  • Spreading improvement
  • Sustaining improvement
  • Cost reduction
  • Payment reform

 American Journal of Medical Quality

Sponsor:  American College of Medical Quality

Topics of Interest

  • Research studies
  • Evaluations of the delivery and management of health care
  • Reports on changes in the field of medical quality, utilization, and risk management

International Journal for Quality in Health Care

Sponsor:  International Society for Quality in Health Care

Topics of Interest

  • Health services research
  • Health care evaluation
  • Technology assessment
  • Health economics
  • Utilization review
  • Cost containment
  • Clinical research related to quality of care

British Medical Journal Quality and Safety

Sponsor: Health Foundation and the British Medical Journal

Topics of Interest

  • Development and integration of quality and safety initiatives into routine practice
  • Experience of improving practice in all sectors of health care services
  • Influence of management and organisational learning on the quality and safety of clinical care
  • Views of consumers and their role as promoters of improved quality and safety in health care
  • Research relevant to health care quality and safety from a wide range of relevant sources including non-medical domains

Quality Management in Health Care

Sponsor: a peer-reviewed journal published by Wolters-Kluwer Healthcare

Topics of Interest

  • Organizational structure and processes as these affect the quality of care and patient outcomes
  • Health care quality management

Journal of Healthcare Management

Sponsor:  American College of Healthcare Executives

Topics of Interest

  • Health care management
  • Health economics
  • Leadership
  • Health care reform

New England Journal of Medicine

Sponsor:  Massachusetts Medical Society

Topics of Interest

  • Health Services research
  • Development and testing of improvement-related tools for validity and reliability
  • Health care reform