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Designing a clinical audit tool to measure processes of pregnancy care

Authors Sinni S, Cross W, Wallace

Published 2 December 2011 Volume 2011:1 Pages 15—25

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NRR.S26543

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Suzanne V Sinni1, Wendy M Cross2, Euan M Wallace1,3
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University and Southern Health, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria, 2School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, 3The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Abstract: This paper reports the development of a clinical audit tool as part of a larger project to evaluate a new maternity service, underpinned by a patient safety framework.
Aim: The aim of this work is to describe the development of a clinical audit tool that measures the process of pregnancy care, and its application.
Background: There are many reports about outcomes of healthcare provision, however there are limited studies examining the process of care. There is also limited evidence linking clinical audit with improvements in care delivery. Pregnancy care was chosen because there are well defined and agreed clinical standards against which to measure the delivery of pregnancy care. A clinical audit using these standards addresses both gaps in the literature.
Methods: Standard methodological processes were used to develop the audit tool. Literature informed the processes. Data were collected in 2009–2010 using the tool described in the paper. Reliability testing was completed in September 2011.
Results: An audit tool to measure pregnancy care was developed and applied to 354 health records to enable analysis of adherence to organizational expectations of care. Reliability testing of the tool achieved an overall kappa of 0.896.
Conclusion: Developing an audit tool based on processes described in the literature is labor intensive and resource dependent, however it results in a robust, reliable, valid tool that can be used in diverse maternity services. Stakeholder participation from the outset ensures ongoing engagement for the duration of a clinically based project spanning several years.

Keywords: clinical audit, mixed methods, maternity, patient safety

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