Clinical audits are used by the NHS as a method of quality improvement. Any good clinical audit is centered on the patient and looks to achieve the following: good practice, improvements in patient care, evaluates a service, highlights problems and improves team working and communication.
The Department of Health have defined a clinical audit as “critical analysis of the quality of clinical care”. Whereas clinical research seeks to identify new information, a clinical audit is there to ask if what is known currently is being practised appropriately.
A clinical audit data collection activity is a form of a quality measure; some clinical audits are national, whilst others are more local. In the non-healthcare environment, many organisations perform internal audits; including a stock audit, financial audit as well as health and safety audits at retail organisations.
A good clinical audit will define set objectives; identify risks, cost implications, a good sample size and a structure to embed regular audits as part of monthly or annual cycle. Above all else, a clinical audit must have a stringent and accurate data collection and analysis procedure set in place to manage large quantities of data.
Having collaborated with many national, local, health and non-health audits, Document Capture Co are well versed in the data collection needs for an audit and how audit data is used to drive quality improvement. Our projects include retail crime audits for local authorities, error audits for police constabularies, record keeping audit for CCG’s, waiting times and the National Audit of Intermediary care plus many more.
Data required for audit purposes are recorded on paper. This can be a questionnaire or a simple record keeping form. Document Capture design the form in a user friendly format, making it easy to record data. Furthermore, the form can be deployed on a browser based platform, a mobile device or completed using a digital ink pen.
Manual data entry from large scale audits is time consuming and extremely laborious. A scanning solution will extract data from audit forms, making the data available electronically immediately, including a digital copy of the audit form, which is digitally archived.
A clinical outcomes dashboard is the ideal way to visualise the results of audits. The dashboard can be designed to display your quality indicators and compare whether existing audit data meets indicators. As a result, one is clearly able to evaluate a process or activity and make smart decisions on the basis of it. The dashboard is bespoke and designed around the needs of client.
The Document Capture Co clinical audit toolkit takes away the pains of data management such as manual storage and data entry, thus allowing NHS and other organisations to focus more of their time and efforts in actioning and implementing plans based on audit outcomes.