CHR QI Guidelines

For faculty and trainees working on Quality Improvement (QI) projects, it is often unclear whether they need to get IRB approval. Similar scientific methodology is often used for both QI and for research, and activities that require review cannot be easily defined by the methods they employ. Other attributes, such as intent to publish or the data sources used, also do not necessarily differentiate QI activities from research. These distinctions are challenging and evolving but they do represent an opportunity to provide guidance.

As an academic institution and medical center, UCSF is committed to both improving and evaluating the care we deliver. Our CHR office developed guidelines to assist faculty and trainees in determining which of their activities require formal review. Detailed guidelines are described here:

For specific questions about whether a QI activity requires approval, please contact our CHR office at 476-1814, or