I ran across a one page handout in PDF format that discussed the difference between research and quality improvement. It was written from the perspective of the IRB (Institutional Review Board) at UMKC. It’s a nice summary, although the topic is a bit more complex than a single page handout might imply. This is a good starting point for deciding what type of study you want to do.
UMKC School of Medicine Research Administration. Research or quality improvement, Septmeber 22, 2104. Available in pdf format