About Clinical Inquiry

The UCSF Medical Center Department of Nursing is committed to advancing clinical inquiry that answers a question, solves a problem, or investigates an issue and that leads to improved patient and family care.  

To that end, the UCSF Clinical InQuERI Model (formerly known as the QuERI Model) is the graphic depiction that reflects the many dimensions of clinical inquiry.

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“Qu” - Quality Improvement activitieS

The methodical application of knowledge in local settings that has been previously discovered.

“E” - Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)

The deliberate use of current evidence to guide clinical decision-making in healthcare settings.

“R” -Research (primary or secondary)

Primary research is the systematic investigation to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge that which has been previously undiscovered.  Research methods can be quantitative, qualitative, or a mixed-method approach.  In the nursing discipline, most primary research requires institutional review board (IRB) approval.  Secondary research may take many forms, but typically involves analysis of previously collected primary research data.  Another common form of secondary research is the systematic review, which involves the gathering, reviewing, evaluating, and publishing all of the available research evidence on a given topic.  IRB approval is generally not necessary for secondary research.

"I" - Innovation

Innovation means new, and new is not necessarily always better.  For that reason, innovation is paired with quality improvement activities, evidence-based nursing practices, and research, so that innovative practices that are adopted improve patient and family care.   


Research studies, quality improvement projects, and evidence-based projects, have been conducted and disseminated across patient care settings at UCSF Medical Center, from the ambulatory clinics to the critical care areas, and in neonatal patients to geriatric patients. This includes forums that are regional, national, and international. Some of the initiatives and projects have been externally funded, while others have used internal funding.  UCSF Nursing is proud of its strong culture of clinical inquiry and innovation.