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McDonald KM, Chang C, Schultz E. Through the Quality Kaleidoscope: Reflections on the Science and Practice of Improving Health Care Quality: Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2013 Feb.

Cover of Through the Quality Kaleidoscope: Reflections on the Science and Practice of Improving Health Care Quality

Through the Quality Kaleidoscope: Reflections on the Science and Practice of Improving Health Care Quality: Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science [Internet].

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Orientation to the Report

This report examines eight Closing the Quality Gap series topics in order to provide guidance for the future of quality improvement science and practice. It assumes a diverse readership. As a result, the report is organized into chapters and appendixes that may be read separately, depending on a particular reader's interests. The main body is geared toward those interested in the state of quality improvement science and is based on reflections across topics in the series. The report also includes substantive appendixes summarizing findings from each of the topic reports in the series, highlighting key messages for different audiences (patients/consumers and their caregivers, clinicians and health care professionals, leaders of health delivery organizations, and policymakers), and identifying lessons for the research community.

This orientation is meant to facilitate customized navigation of the report, with the goal of meeting the different needs of the potentially diverse readers of this report and the series.

Introduction to the Series. The first chapter summarizes the rationale and background for this collection of evidence reports; outlines its framework, Key Questions, and the topic selection process; and provides health care quality context for the series.

Synthesis Across Topics and Implications. An indepth discussion of the series as a whole may be found in the second through fourth chapters, including common lessons across topics (second chapter), lessons learned to guide future systematic reviews (third chapter), and implications for the future of the quality improvement field (fourth chapter). Use these sections for integrated thinking about research, practice, and policy aimed at improving the quality of health care. The fifth chapter discusses concluding thoughts.

Highlights From Series Topic Reviews. Appendix A contains a summary of each series topic, including highlights from each report, organized by topic and Key Question. Definitions of topic concepts are also included. Use this section to get a sense of what was found from each report or decide whether a particular topic is of interest. A summary across the series is described in a companion report.1

Messages for Key Audiences. Appendix B highlights take-home messages from each series topic for each of four key audiences: patients/consumers and their caregivers (Table B-1), clinicians and health care professionals (Table B-2), leaders of health delivery organizations (Table B-3), and policymakers (Table B-4).

Messages To Guide Future Research. Appendix C highlights, for each of the topics, research gaps (Table C-1), take-home messages for researchers (Table C-2), and take-home messages for research funders (Table C-3). It is intended to help guide future research, especially in ways of practical use to key audiences. Further discussion of future research needs may be found in the third and fourth chapters.

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