Improvement Science Methods


Measurement is at the heart of all large-scale quality and safety improvement programmes in both health and social care, but although much is known about effective and efficient measurements there are key gaps in understanding, which the improvement science methods research team was intended to help fill. This work builds on existing strength to develop a coherent measurement system for a high standard safe and person-centred care, reflecting The Healthcare Quality Strategy for Scotland, which recognises the importance of measuring quality in its Quality Measurement Framework.

The aim of this Research Theme is to understand and explore the purpose, design and use of measures for quality and safety improvement in health and social care.  Using examples from Scotland and the international improvement community, we can strengthen the evidence-base around measurement best practice, in order to inform future improvement initiatives.

Our Current Focus

The core research project focussed on two areas of measurement :

  • Why, how and when to measure quality and safety at different levels of a healthcare system? (centralised vs locally developed and owned measurement)
  • How should balancing measures be created and used in quality and safety improvement in Scotland and internationally?

What’s Been Happening

The purpose, design and use of balancing measures in quality and safety improvement

Mobilising evidence to drive improvement

The links below provide you with a summary of the work that’s been undertaken in this research theme.

Understanding Sustainable Change


Expert Opinion

Centralised vs. local measurement

Measuring quality and safety at different levels of a healthcare system

Balancing Measures

Antimicrobial Stewardship Measurements

Key People


Outputs from the Improvement Science Methods research theme can be accessed on our publications page.

Useful Links