The Alberta Quality Matrix for Health

The Alberta Quality Matrix for Health (Quality Matrix) provides a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the health system.

The Quality Matrix creates a common understanding about quality for everyone who works within the healthcare system. The Quality Matrix has two components:

  1. Dimensions of quality, which focus on aspects of the patient/client experience
  2. Areas of need, which divides the range of services provided by the health system into four distinct, but related, categories.

The Quality Matrix enables the public, patients, providers, and organizations to see how levels of quality and areas of need might intersect. It has been used in numerous ways, including policy development, strategic and service planning, and as a way to educate the public about quality in healthcare.

The Matrix is being updated

A first phase of information gathering began in September 2021 that included:

  • A review of the academic literature and frameworks on health and safety.
  • An environmental scan of prominent health quality and safety organizations in Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, and of Alberta-specific considerations.
  • Interviews with eight non-Alberta healthcare organizations identified from the environmental scan with innovative or recently updated health quality frameworks.
  • Interviews with 46 individuals and groups within Alberta, many of whom were users of the Matrix but to differing degrees.

These sources affirmed the relevance of the quality dimensions in the Matrix but also revealed shifts in language over time as perspectives on healthcare quality have changed. Many frameworks now include person/people-centred care and make connections to equity, cultural humility, cultural safety, health and wellness (not just healthcare), the social determinants of health, integration (across a patient’s journey and sectors/services), the needs of communities and populations, and engagement or partnership (with individuals and communities).

Read our report on what we heard and learned during phase one.

More input needed

We have moved into phase two stakeholder engagement, which will including circling back with those who said they wanted to stay involved, to explore the divergent perspectives we heard in phase one. Additionally, we are prioritizing relationship-building with Indigenous health peers, and seeking out missing perspectives to bring an equity lens to our engagement.

The Alberta Quality Matrix for Health | Graph Outlining the Quality Matrix For Health

Download resources

The Alberta Quality Matrix for Health

The Alberta Quality Matrix for Health User Guide

This user guide is to assist with understanding and using the Quality Matrix.