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In health care, continuous quality improvement (CQI) is defined as the deliberate and defined processes and methods that are used to continuously develop, design, evaluate and change practices and programs to ensure that they are of high quality (see Family Care Teams: A Health Policy Framework for NL ).

It is necessary to continuously evaluate and adjust services to support the health needs of individuals, families, and communities. An important opportunity for CQI in this province is enhanced integration of evidence-based practices for chronic disease prevention and management within clinical practice and community wellness initiatives. In addition, Newfoundland and Labrador has a rapidly aging population, therefore, using CQI processes to ensure Family Care Team services meet the needs of seniors and help them maintain health and independence in communities will be critical.

It is essential that Family Care Teams have access to change management resources, and are supported in the measurement and analysis of their own operations in order to develop the capacity to engage in improvement initiatives.

Family Care Teams are part of the province’s Learning Health and Social System (LHSS).

A LHSS is a system that continuously improves through a culture of best practice, evaluation, equity, openness and collaboration - the system learns and gets better, resulting in better care and health for all. CQI processes contribute greatly to a LHSS. To achieve this new and broader vision, Health Accord NL recommended incorporating a LHSS culture into all functions of the Family Care Teams.

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) diagram