This book is about using data for improvement; thus, this chapter provides the foundation for the entire book. In this chapter, as we focus on working with data for improvement, we will also make connections to other major ways in which data are traditionally used in health care to include accountability and research.

Improvement projects are about testing, adapting, implementing, and spreading changes. Data and measurement play important, but supportive, roles. Some of the important uses of data and measurement include: using key measures to assess progress toward the project’s aim; using specific measures for learning during PDSA cycles; using balancing measures to assess whether the system as a whole is ...

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