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Nursing: Quality Improvement

Nursing resource guide

Quality Improvement Resources

Searching for QI Literature

Sample search queries to find quality improvement studies.

Copy and paste the keywords below into a database such as CINAHL and PubMed, then add your specific topic to find QI articles. Each search below will yield different results, so try each of them with your topic keywords.

  • Simple text word search: quality AND improv* AND intervention*
  • Simple text words, synonyms A:  ((quality) AND ((improv* OR enhance*))) AND ((intervention* OR initiative* OR strategy* OR program*))
  • Simple text words, synonyms B: ((((quality OR system OR process))) AND ((improv* OR enhance*))) AND ((intervention* OR initiative* OR strategy* OR program*))

In addition to these keywords, try some of the controlled vocabulary or subject headings for the database you are searching.

CINAHL Subject Headings:

  • Quality Improvement OR Quality Assurance OR Quality of Health Care OR Quality of Nursing Care OR Quality Assessment
    • copy and paste into one search box
    • change drop-down menu from Select a Field to MH Exact Subject Heading

PubMed Subject Headings:

  • (((("Quality of Health Care"[Mesh]) OR "Quality Assurance, Health Care"[Mesh]) OR "Quality Indicators, Health Care"[Mesh]) OR "Health Plan Implementation"[Mesh]) OR "Quality Improvement"[Mesh]
    • copy and paste into the Advanced search box and then combine with topic keywords


From Hempel S (2011) Identifying quality improvement intervention publications - A comparison of electronic search strategies. Implement Sci. 2011; 6: 85.

Additional Search Strategies

  • Quality Improvement Articles in PubMed - Quality Improvement was introduced as a medical subject heading (MeSH) in 2011. This link goes to all articles indexed with the Quality Improvement subject heading since 2011. Add your topic to the search to find specific articles.
  • Health Services Research Filter for PubMed Searches - This page provides specialized PubMed searches on healthcare quality and costs. From NICHSR. Select the Quality Improvement option.