clinical auditJoe Segen2016-12-04T18:40:58+00:00
A term of art referring to the continuous process of assessment, evaluation and adjustment of practice by doctors, nurses and other health professionals, as carried out in the NHS (UK).
Clinical audit is an ongoing process used to measure the quality of aspects of health care and services, and to improve that quality. They are conducted in multiple cycles, where current clinical performance and practise are compared to set standards or to others, to identify bottlenecks or areas for improvement, which are targeted, addressed and the cycle repeated.
Clinical audits seek to improve patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change, defined by NICE; it is regarded as an integral part of routine practice for all healthcare professionals working in the NHS. It is a key process in continued improvement of health care provision, it asks the question “What are we doing and how does it compare to what we should be doing? The findings will then indicate compliance or act as a instigator for improvement in practice and/or patient outcomes.
Synonym Medical audit