Clinical audit is a way for practices to find out where their services are doing well and where improvements can be made. It is a process of assessing, evaluating and improving procedures for each stage of care, diagnosis and intervention.
Where do I start?
In order to be able to do clinical audit, a practice must have systems in place for monitoring and discussing the clinical outcome of cases and for acting on the results. Clinical audit starts with some form of record keeping and review process.
The RCVS Practice Standards Scheme Manual suggests that a great starting point for a practice wanting to do clinical audit might be looking at rates of post-surgical infection: reveiwing the interventions, significant events and resultant actions. Significant events could include unexpected reactions, critical incidents, perianaesthetic deaths (as well as positive outcomes).
Clinical Audit Toolkit
The Clinical Audit Toolkit is designed as a step-by-step guide to starting clinical audit in practice:
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