What is Clinical Audit?
Clinical audit is ‘a quality improvement process that seeks to improve patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change’. Principles for Best Practice in Clinical Audit (2002, NICE).
Put simply – clinical audit is a way of finding out if we are doing what we should be doing and making improvements where necessary.
Clinical audit has 5 stages which are best described as an audit cycle:
Clinical Audit in the Rotunda
The Rotunda has a strong focus on clinical audit as a means of safeguarding and improving the care we provide for our patients.
- In 2011, as part of the quality and safety objective in the Strategic Plan 2011-2013, a dedicated clinical audit department was established to monitor and support clinical audit throughout the hospital.
- All departments are encouraged to take part in clinical audit and the findings and recommended changes are presented at regular staff meetings.
- All clinical audits comply with the Data Protection Act 2003.
What audits do we carry out?
Each year we plan a clinical audit programme that involves all of the hospital departments. We include audits that:
- measure how well we protect our patients from infection e.g. hand hygiene, decontamination of medical equipment
- check we are following local, national and international guidelines e.g. NICE guidelines
- compare the standard of care we provide against the national averages
- examine areas where we have received complaints or staff have concerns
- measure our standards of record keeping
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