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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2008 Nov;90(8):675-8. doi: 10.1308/003588408X318147. Epub 2008 Sep 30.

Auditing orthopaedic audit.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedics, Kingston Hospital NHS Trust, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, UK. enisguryel@doctors.org.uk

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Clinical audit plays an important role in the drive to improve the quality of patient care and thus forms a cornerstone of clinical governance. Assurance that the quality of patient care has improved requires completion of the audit cycle. A considerable sum of money and time has been spent establishing audit activity in the UK. Failure to close the loop undermines the effectiveness of the audit process and wastes resources.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We analysed the effectiveness of audit in trauma and orthopaedics at a local hospital by comparing audit projects completed over a 6-year period to criteria set out in the NHS National Audit and Governance report.

RESULTS:

Of the 25 audits performed since 1999, half were presented to the relevant parties and only 20% completed the audit cycle. Only two of these were audits against national standards and 28% were not based on any standards at all. Only a third of the audits led by junior doctors resulted in implementation of their action plan compared to 75% implementation for consultant-led and 67% for nurse-led audits.

CONCLUSIONS:

A remarkably large proportion of audits included in this analysis failed to meet accepted criteria for effective audit. Audits completed by junior doctors were found to be the least likely to complete the cycle. This may relate to the lack of continuity in modern medical training and little incentive to complete the cycle. Supervision by permanent medical staff, principally consultants, and involvement of the audit department may play the biggest role in improving implementation of change.

PMID:
18828963
PMCID:
PMC2727811
DOI:
10.1308/003588408X318147
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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