About the Institute

The AAAHC Institute for Quality Improvement was founded by the AAAHC in 1999. The AAAHC Institute is a non-profit organization which offers ambulatory health care organizations opportunities to learn about and become involved in performance measurement, benchmarking, and quality improvement.


The AAAHC Institute is governed by a Board of Trustees:


Scott Trimas, MD, FACS


Kris Kilgore, RN, BSN

Gayle Lowe, RN, BSN, MBA


Dianna Burns, RN, BS, CGRN
Frank Chapman, MBA
Jan Davidson, MSN, RN, CNOR, CASC
David N. Gans, MHSA, FACMPE
Vicky Gordon, PhD

Martin L. Gonzalez, MS
Thomas James, III, MD
Jan Kleinhesselink, RN, BSHM, CPHQ
Donna R. Norton, RN, BSN, MS
Bonnie Petty, FNP, MPH, CPNP
David Shapiro, MD

The AAAHC Institute staff:

Naomi Kuznets, PhD, Vice President & Senior Director
Belle Lerner, MA, Assistant Director
Brian Szumsky, MA, Program Coordinator


AAAHC Institute
5250 Old Orchard Road, Suite 250
Skokie, IL 60077
Phone: 847.853.6060
Fax: 847.853.6118


Funding for the AAAHC Institute is provided by AAAHC, by fees paid by study participants, and by contributions from interested ambulatory health care organizations and others. Unrestricted grants from organizations wishing to support clinical performance measurement and quality improvement in the ambulatory health care setting are also welcome sources of funding for the AAAHC Institute.

Clinical Performance Measurement

Clinical performance measurement includes the evaluation of the process by which health care is delivered and the outcomes that patients experience. Clinical performance measurement is a crucial part of a clinical quality improvement program. In order to improve health care, one must first understand what health care is currently being delivered and how this affects patients.

Clinical performance measurement may be the study of a medical procedure, such as cataract surgery. It could be examination of the way a chronic disease, such as asthma, is managed, or whether preventive services are provided. How patients fare as a result of clinical interventions, including their satisfaction with the care they received, their functional capabilities, their health status, and the cost of the services received, is also a subject of clinical performance measurement.

What does clinical performance measurement entail?

Three aspects of the AAAHC Institute’s studies differentiate them from most of the clinical performance measurement opportunities currently available:

  • AAAHC Institute studies are designed specifically for the ambulatory care environment.
  • AAAHC Institute studies are NOT burdensome. Most surveys are one page long and can be completed in 5 to 10 minutes by hand. Only 15-25 surveys are needed for an ambulatory site to participate. You enter the case data into an on-line data collection tool.
  • Reports are easy to read with graphic displays that allow readers to understand results "at-a-glance."
  • The AAAHC Institute provides organizations with the opportunity to trend their performance over time through repeated examination of a variety of surgical procedures.

About AAAHC Institute Studies

Who develops the studies?

Just as AAAHC Standards development is a process that involves clinicians and administrators in ambulatory health care settings, the AAAHC Institute encourages input from those "in the field." The Performance Measurement Initiative (PMI) is the centerpiece of the AAAHC Institute. The PMI includes national experts and experienced representatives from various ambulatory health care settings, and sets priorities for the AAAHC Institute’s research initiatives. Work groups convened by the PMI draw from issue- and setting-specific experts. For example, a nationally renowned expert in medical error event reporting worked with our work group on this issue. The Colonoscopy Work Group includes representation from the national gastrointestinal professional societies.


When you participate in an Insitute study, only you will know how your organization did unless you specifically ask us (in writing) to release this information to another party. Participating organizations may release their own information on their performance.

The AAAHC Institute will not know the identity of your patients because all information you provide will be de-identified in compliance with HIPAA standards.