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Research, audit and quality improvement.

Author information

1
Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. roger.paxton@nmht.nhs.uk

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this article is to clarify the distinction between research and audit, and propose appropriate regulatory arrangements for audit and related activities.

DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH:

The methods used were literature reviews and conceptual analysis.

FINDINGS:

Research and audit overlap in various ways, but differ in terms of their purposes and the risks likely to be encountered and distinguished, along with a third related category of activities called quality improvement.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS:

Appropriate regulatory arrangements are proposed for audit and quality improvement activities. Using these should ensure appropriate ethical standards and risk management, while avoiding the time-consuming over-regulation that occurs when projects are unnecessarily submitted to the ethical scrutiny appropriate for research projects.

ORIGINALITY/VALUE:

Gives suggestions and information that could be of great value in spreading service improvement.

PMID:
16548404
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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