Recycling the surgical audit
Edward W Johnston
Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, Hampshire, UK
Background: Clinical audit is a process used to improve the quality of care provided to patients. With an increasing body of evidence to question the effectiveness of audit, this study aims to evaluate the standard of surgical audits carried out in a large teaching hospital.
Methods: All surgically orientated audits proposed to the hospital’s audit office over a 5-year period were evaluated against criteria set out in accordance with guidelines produced by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence.
Results: Of the 79 audits proposed, 33 were completed and took an average of 3.4 months. Forty-eight percent of completed audits identified actions, 12% implemented changes, and 9% closed the loop. The number of proposed surgical audits has not increased significantly over the past 5 years.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the minority of audits manage to identify actions, implement change, and complete an audit cycle. Part of this inefficiency can be attributed to a lack of communication between audit leads and the audit office. To overcome this problem, it is suggested that audit offices take an active role in facilitating the audit process at all times.
Keywords: clinical audit, audit cycle, audit office
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF]