Defining quality improvement in public health

William J. Riley, John W. Moran, Liza C. Corso, Leslie M. Beitsch, Ronald Bialek, Abbey Cofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Many industries commonly use quality improvement (QI) techniques to improve service delivery and process performance. Yet, there has been scarce application of these proven methods to public health settings and the public health field has not developed a set of shared principles or a common definition for quality improvement. This article discusses a definition of quality improvement in public health and describes a continuum of quality improvement applications for public health departments. Quality improvement is a distinct management process and set of tools and techniques that are coordinated to ensure that departments consistently meet the health needs of their communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-7
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Performance improvement
  • Public health departments
  • QI applications for public health departments
  • Quality improvement techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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