Conclusion: the road ahead: where should we go now to improve healthcare quality in acute settings?

Jeffrey Braithwaite, Natalie Taylor, Robyn Clay-Williams, Hsuen P. Ting, Gaston Arnolda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This final article in our 12-part series articulating a suite of quality improvement studies completes our report on the Deepening our Understanding of Quality in Australia (DUQuA) program of work. Here, we bring the Supplement's key findings and contributions together, tying up loose ends. Traversing the DUQuA articles, we first argued the case for the research, conducted so that an in-depth analysis of one country's health system, completed 5 years after the landmark Deepening our Understanding of Quality Improvement in Europe (DUQuE), was available. We now provide a digest of the learning from each article. Essentially, we have contributed an understanding of quality and safety activities in 32 of the largest acute settings in Australia, developed a series of scales and tools for use within Australia, modifiable for other purposes elsewhere, and provided a platform for future studies of this kind. Our main message is, despite the value of publishing an intense study of quality activities in 32 hospitals in one country, there is no gold standard, one-size-fits-all methodology or guarantee of success in quality improvement activities, whether the initiatives are conducted at departmental, organization-wide or whole-of-systems levels. Notwithstanding this, armed with the tools, scales and lessons from DUQuA, we hope we have provided many more options and opportunities for others going about strengthening their quality improvement activities, but we do not claim to have solved all problems or provided a definitive approach. In our view, quality improvement initiatives are perennially challenging, and progress hard-won. Effective measurement, evaluating progress over time, selecting a useful suite of quality methods and having the persistence to climb the improvement gradient over time, using all the expertise and tools available, is at the core of the work of quality improvement and will continue to be so.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2020


  • accreditation
  • national standards
  • quality improvement
  • quality management


Dive into the research topics of 'Conclusion: the road ahead: where should we go now to improve healthcare quality in acute settings?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this