Contrasting QI and QA
Many people are familiar with the term Quality Assurance (QA), as it was a common term for many years.
Quality Assurance – QA was reactive, retrospective, policing, and in many ways punitive. It often involved determining who was at fault after something went wrong. This term is older and not as likely to be used today.
Quality Improvement – QI involves both prospective and retrospective reviews. It is aimed at improvement -- measuring where you are, and figuring out ways to make things better. It specifically attempts to avoid attributing blame, and to create systems to prevent errors from happening.
QI activities can be very helpful in improving how things work. Trying to find where the “defect” in the system is, and figuring out new ways to do things can be challenging and fun. It’s a great opportunity to “think outside the box.”
An effective QI program can really help make your life better.
Short Example of QI vs. QA
From the following statements, which do you think have a QA focus and which have a QI focus?