Quality Improvement/Quality Assurance

Report to Congress: Efforts to Expand and Accelerate Health Center Program Quality Improvement (PDF - 615 KB) (04/26/2011)


An ongoing Quality Improvement/Quality Assurance (QI/QA) program is required for health centers, and investing resources in quality improvement activities can help you meet your other quality-related goals such as moving toward the patient-centered medical home model, achieving meaningful use of health information technology, increasing clinical quality, increasing patient and staff satisfaction, and gaining third party quality recognition (accreditation and/or patient-centered medical home recognition).

The Section 330 core program requirements dictate that the QI/QA program should involve periodic assessment of data from patient records, conducted or supervised by a physician, to identify areas for improvement.  In addition, health centers are required to implement changes to the way they provide services to address the areas targeted for improvement.  FTCA requirements also include board approval of the QI/QA plan every three years.

In addition to these requirements, there are components that can increase the utility of your QI/QA plan:

  1. QI/QA team building and responsibility across a range of staff types
  2. Self-assessment of areas to target
  3. Setting concrete goals
  4. Identifying strategies for improvement
  5. Data collection and analysis
  6. Evaluation and dissemination of lessons learned
  7. Integration with operations and other quality-related activities