Quality Improvement (QI) provides the means for any organization to more efficiently and effectively respond to the current and future needs of the communities they serve.  It has at its foundation strong leadership and high quality characteristics. To understand the philosophy of quality improvement, organizational leaders must examine the two areas that comprise the foundation of the quality improvement process, Quality and Leadership.

Every emergency service system is defined by the integration and interconnectedness of many smaller organizations responding from the point of illness or injury to the point of definitive care.  Each stakeholder (police, fire, EMS, hospitals, etc.) in the system plays an integral role in the overall delivery of services to their community. Yet unlike many other industries and services that are managed, emergency service organizations must not only lead, but also, integrate in an ad hoc fashion during an emergency to provide quality care to those in need.  If the emergency service system is run by managers, it will constantly suffer setbacks and downfalls. However, if the system is composed of leaders, the system will flourish.