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Recycling the surgical audit

Authors Johnston

Published 26 July 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 89—91


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

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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

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