A “systematic investigation” is an activity conducted in pursuit of answering a specific research question or to permit conclusions to be drawn. The research is described in a formal protocol that sets forth an objective and a set of procedures to reach that objective, and results in the formulation of generalizable knowledge based on conclusions drawn. In turn, “generalizable knowledge” is knowledge based on the findings of a particular research study (or studies) that may be applied more broadly with the expectation of predictable outcomes.
QA/QI Clinical: “Systematic, data-guided activities designed to implement promising ways to improve clinical care, patient safety and health care operations. The activity is designed to bring about immediate positive changes in the delivery of healthcare, programs, or business practices in the local setting.”
QA/QI Non-Clinical: “Data collected with the limited intent of evaluating and improving existing services and programs or for developing new services or programs. Examples include teaching evaluations or customer service surveys.”