Journal for Healthcare Quality

Cover image for Vol. 36 Issue 6

Edited By: Maulik Joshi, Dr. P.H.

Online ISSN: 1945-1474

Author Guidelines

Beginning in January 2015, JHQ will be published by Wolters Kluwer|Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. On October 8 and after, any submissions or revisions of JHQ manuscripts should be submitted to, on JHQ’s new submission platform. If you already have a user account, you will receive e-mail notification for updating your login and information. Manuscript information may need to be resubmitted on the new site. If you have any questions, please e-mail

The Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ) welcomes submissions by writers from all sectors of the healthcare quality field. The journal publishes articles on administration and management (including designing of organizations and roles), performance measurement and improvement, behavioral healthcare quality, compliance, evidence-based practice, pain management, accreditation issues and successes, information systems and management, knowledge management, innovations in healthcare, education’s move to quality, government affairs and policy making, patient and staff safety, research in healthcare quality, continuum of care, and global and international issues. A detailed list of topics of special interest can be found at

Established in 1979, JHQ is the official journal of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). Its audience is the healthcare quality professional responsible for promoting and monitoring safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, equitable, and evidence-based care.

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.
For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement
If the OnlineOpen option (Wiley's Open Access option) is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs.
For authors choosing OnlineOpen (Wiley's Open Access option)
If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):
--Creative Commons Attribution License OAA
--Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
--Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA
--Creative Commons Attribution License OAA
--Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
--Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA
To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit:
If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

NEW - Early View

Journal for Healthcare Quality is covered by Wiley-Blackwell’s Early View service. Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled print issue. Early View articles are complete and final. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors’ final corrections have been incorporated. Because they are in final form, no changes can be made after online publication. The nature of Early View articles means that they do not yet have volume, issue or page numbers, so Early View articles cannot be cited in the traditional way. They are therefore given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before it is allocated to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article.

Manuscript Submission

All contributions should be submitted online to:

Please log in to the ScholarOne Manuscripts site and choose the 'Create an Account' tab in the top right corner of the window. The system will guide you through creating an account and will e-mail you a user name and password. To submit a manuscript, log in to ScholarOne Manuscripts, enter your name and password, and then choose the 'Author Center' option from the main menu. Complete instructions are provided to guide you through the submission process. No hard copies are necessary.

For queries about submitting manuscripts, please contact the JHQ office at

Manuscript Format

The required formats for feature articles and letters to the editor are as follows:

Feature Articles

Submissions of feature articles should be 1,500–3,000 words (6–12 double-spaced pages) and typed double-spaced, with 1-in. (2.54-cm) margins on all sides. Pages must be numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page. Because the review is a blind process, do not include the authors’ names on manuscript pages or in running headers or footers.


Only individuals who have contributed substantially to the conception, formulation, drafting, and revision of the submission should take public responsibility for its content and be listed as authors; other contributors (those who may have provided technical assistance or writing advice, for example) can be mentioned in an acknowledgment. In addition, all authors should have participated in the submission’s final approval.


The title should be no longer than 20 words. The title should compel a healthcare quality professional to read the entire submission and should describe the main point of the article.


Authors should provide a paragraph of 200 words or fewer that summarizes the article and contains its essential elements. The abstract appears at the beginning of the article and should contain no bullets, references, tables, or figures. An abstract should include a brief description of the topic, the purpose of the submission, its importance and relevance to healthcare quality, and conclusions.


Authors should provide 3–5 keywords or short phrases that will assist indexers in cross-indexing the article and that will be published with the abstract.

Biographical Sketch

A brief biographical sketch (2–3 sentences) must be provided for each author and should include a summary of the author’s credentials, title, affiliation, city and state, and current roles and accountabilities. Please do not submit résumés, curricula vitae, or lists of job titles.


JHQ welcomes the inclusion of tables and figures and encourages authors to send them with submissions. Tables should be in only Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel formats; tables submitted as images are not editable and may not be included. Figures are preferred as TIFF, JPEG, or EPS files. For more information on graphics, please visit Http://

·         Be sure that the graphics are relevant to and help to clarify the article’s major points.

·         Refer to each table and figure in the text.

·         Submit tables and figures in black and white. Columns, pie sections, or other graphical groupings need to be distinguished with various patterns.

·         Do not include gray screens to highlight data in tables. If submitting bar graphs, use designs (cross-hatches, dots, etc.) for differentiation; do not use color or shades of gray or black for differentiation.

·         Do not send content in Microsoft PowerPoint format (.ppt; PowerPoint graphics imported into Microsoft Word format are acceptable).

·         Select graphics that can help tell the story and are self-explanatory. All elements should be included; the reader should not be confused about what graphics represent. Spell out all acronyms in tables or provide a key explaining the acronyms.

·         If you are using a form from an organization or agency, be sure that the organization is identified, that permission for use has been obtained from the organization, and that the form is introduced and explained in the text.

·         If a graphic is not original and presents information from another source, give full credit to the original source (i.e., list the name of the source and the publication, the publication’s volume and date, and the source’s page number). Authors are responsible for obtaining reprint permission for using copyrighted material from another source. When submitting the manuscript, be sure to provide written permission from the source for JHQ to reprint the graphic.

·         Double-check statistics for accuracy and correct interpretation.

For more information about graphics, please visit


The style of references is dictated by the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. References should be cited in the text by author’s name and year of publication, in parentheses—for example, (Smith, 2004). Direct quotations should include page numbers—for example, (Smith, 2004, p. 14). All references cited in the text must be included in the reference list at the end of the manuscript, and every reference in the list must be cited in the text. The reference list should be double-spaced and in alphabetical order by author. (Do not number the references on the list.) The references must be verified by the author(s) against the original documents. In summary, the author(s) should ensure that references are

·         current (generally not older than 5 years), though citations of classic works in the literature on quality may also be included

·         appropriate to the concepts, interpretations, or conclusions being presented

·         complete (see the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association).

When electronic references are used, follow APA guidelines for citing information from Web sites at

Examples of Reference Citations

Standard journal article (list all authors, but see APA manual for citation of works with six or more authors)

McCartney, J. R., & Campbell, V. A. (1998). Confirmed abuse cases in public residential facilities for persons with mental retardation: A multi-state study. Mental Retardation, 36(6), 465–473.

Book or monograph

Byers, J. F., & White, S. V. (2004). Patient safety: Principles and practices. New York: Springer.

Online information (include retrieval date)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1999). Guideline for the prevention of surgical site infection. Retrieved May 30, 2007, from

Technical or research report

Sing., M. (1998). The costs and effects of parity for mental health and substance abuse insurance benefits (DHHS Publication No. SMA 98-3205). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services.

Summary of Tips for Writing Feature Articles

·         Present information in a manner that is easy to read and understand.

·         Give examples or use case studies to illustrate your points.

·         Be clear and concise; offer practical advice and lessons learned.

·         Focus on helping readers improve their skills and their organizations’ quality, performance, outcomes, effectiveness, and efficiencies.

·         Use headings within the text to aid comprehension. To divide the article into sections, insert succinct, meaningful subheadings into the text.

·         Include visual aids such as bullets, lists, and tables and figures.

·         Support conclusions with data or citations from the scientific and professional literature.

·         Limit historical review of the literature unless a historical review is the focus of the article. JHQ readers typically are familiar with classic quality management and performance improvement literature.

Letters to the Editor

JHQ relies on feedback from NAHQ members and other readers and welcomes letters to the editor. Submit a brief letter outlining any comment, criticism, compliment, or idea to the JHQ editor in chief via the ScholarOne Manuscripts site. The editor in chief reserves the right to edit all letters.


JHQ publishes editorials at the discretion of the Editor in Chief and the Editorial Board. Editorials that are commissioned by the Editor in Chief will be reviewed by the Editor in Chief. Unsolicited editorials, which may comment on articles published in JHQ or comment upon general quality trends that may be of interest to JHQ's readership, will be reviewed by the Editor in Chief and Editorial Board for determination of publication.

Manuscripts Involving Research

Manuscripts involving research should generally include material under the following headings:

·         Abstract

·         Purpose (or Research Questions)

·         Review of the Literature

·         Study Design and Methods

·         Institutional Review Board Approval (or discussion of waiver)

·         Results (or Findings)

·         Limitations

·         Directions for Future Research

·         Discussion

·         Implications for Practice

If research was conducted involving human subjects, a statement is required indicating that an institutional review board (IRB) approved the study. Please provide the IRB number. If IRB approval was not obtained, an explanation must be provided.

Editorial Policies


JHQ reserves the right to edit all submissions according to style and space requirements, to clarify content, and to meet standards of language use. Journal articles express the authors’ views and are not necessarily the policy of NAHQ or the editors of the journal.


Publication and publication dates are not guaranteed. Authors will be notified of the disposition of their manuscripts. If a manuscript is accepted for publication, authors will have the opportunity to review and amend a PDF proof of their article prior to publication.


The author or submitting agent is responsible for compliance with all journal policies, including identification of a corresponding author, declaration of all sources of research funding and support, and documentation of all appropriate permissions.

Copyright Policy

Copyright on all published articles will be held by NAHQ. Each contributing author of a submitted manuscript must sign a statement expressly transferring copyright if the article is published. Copyright assignment is a condition of publication, and manuscripts will not be passed to the publisher for production unless copyright has been assigned. An appropriate copyright assignment form can be found by clicking here.

Grant Funding and In-Kind Support

The author should indicate in the body of the manuscript or an endnote any public (e.g., Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) or private (e.g., foundation or pharmaceutical company) funding for the reported research or improvement activity. Any additional funding (monetary or in-kind support or provision of equipment) related to the research or improvement activity or preparation of the manuscript should also be acknowledged. The author should also disclose any financial stake in the funding agency or any product mentioned in the manuscript.

Note to NIH Grantees

Pursuant to NIH mandate, Wiley-Blackwell will post the accepted version of contributions authored by NIH grant-holders to PubMed Central upon acceptance. This accepted version will be made publicly available 12 months after publication. For further information, see

Peer Review Process

Submissions are carefully screened for professional, accurate, and timely content. Manuscript evaluation is conducted through a blind review process and is completed by the JHQ editors and members of the editorial board and review panel, who are experts in the particular area of healthcare quality addressed in the manuscript. The review process for submissions usually takes 2–4 months, during which time the submission is evaluated for appropriateness, originality, clarity, the timeliness of the subject matter, and contribution to the art and science of healthcare quality. Manuscripts involving original research (including manuscripts that describe improvements achieved through the application of a process improvement model) are also reviewed for the merit and rigor of their methodology and the significance of the findings. The editor in chief makes the final publication decision. The decision may be that the manuscript is accepted, that the manuscript should be revised for resubmission, or that the manuscript is not accepted. The editor in chief usually sends reviewers’ comments to the author for consideration in revising the manuscript for resubmission. Authors submitting a revised manuscript should respond to all the comments received.

NEW: Online production tracking is now available for your article through Wiley-Blackwell’s Author Services.

Author Services enables authors to track their article – once it has been accepted – through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production. The author will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system. Please ensure that a complete e-mail address is provided when submitting the manuscript. Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

Continuing Education Credits

By publishing their manuscripts in JHQ, healthcare quality professionals can earn continuing education (CE) credits required to maintain the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) designation. Authors can earn up to 4 hours of CE credit toward CPHQ recertification for each page published in JHQ. 1 CPHQ credit = 60 minutes of work on an article.

At least one CE article is available in each issue of JHQ. Readers can complete an online exam on the NAHQ Web site (  to receive CE credit for each CE article.