Lightning Learning: Clinical Audit
Did you know that clinical audit is a quality improvement process?
It is not about just collecting data or providing assurance – its aim should be to improve patient care – so if your project is not aiming to do this it's probably not a clinical audit.
If undertaken correctly, you should pick a project where we know there is variation in care and improvement is required. We then measure our care against a SMART standard over time testing the effectiveness of the changes we make – repeating the clinical audit cycle (see image in LEARN) until your aim is achieved and improvement sustained.
Most processes will fail if not followed from start to finish.
Too many clinical audits are referred to as ‘complete’ when the data has been collected, results presented back and actions agreed.
This is actually the start of the project and it is important to monitor the effectiveness of the actions taken/changes made to see if they have been effective at improving patient care.
Make sure you plan & register your project with your Trust and get support from your local Clinical Audit leads. (see links below)