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The contribution of case study research to knowledge of how to improve quality of care
  1. G Ross Baker
  1. Correspondence to Professor G Ross Baker, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, 155 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 3M6; ross.baker{at}


Background Efforts to improve the implementation of effective practice and to speed up improvements in quality and patient safety continue to pose challenges for researchers and policy makers. Organisational research, and, in particular, case studies of quality improvement, offer methods to improve understanding of the role of organisational and microsystem contexts for improving care and the development of theories which might guide improvement strategies.

Methods This paper reviews examples of such research and details the methodological issues in constructing and analysing case studies. Case study research typically collects a wide array of data from interviews, documents and other sources.

Conclusion Advances in methods for coding and analysing these data are improving the quality of reports from these studies.

  • Quality improvement
  • case study
  • qualitative research
  • healthcare quality improvement
  • research

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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