Patient Safety/Quality Improvement Primer, Part IV: How to Measure and Track Improvements

Katelyn O. Stepan*, Jennifer M. Lavin, Vikas Mehta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patient safety and quality improvement (PS/QI) has become an integral part of the health care system, and the ability to effectively use data to track, understand, and communicate performance is essential to designing and implementing quality initiatives, as well as assessing their impact. Though many otolaryngologists are proficient in the methodologies of traditional research pursuits, educational gaps remain in the foundational principles of PS/QI measurement strategies. Part IV of this PS/QI primer discusses the fundamentals of measurement design and data analysis methods specific to PS/QI. Consideration is given to the selection of appropriate measures when designing a PS/QI project, as well as the method and frequency for collecting these measures. In addition, this primer reviews key aspects of tracking and analyzing data, providing an overview of statistical process control methods while highlighting the construction and utility of run and control charts. Lastly, this article discusses strategies to successfully develop and execute PS/QI initiatives in a way that facilitates the ability to appropriately measure their effectiveness and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1683-1690
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • control chart
  • patient safety
  • quality improvement
  • run chart
  • statistical process control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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