Clinical Audit Guides

Clinical Audit can be defined as the "systematic review and evaluation of current practice with reference to research based standards to improve patient care." The setting of standards, measurement of practice compared to 'gold standard', identification of deficiencies and addressing deficiencies (closing the loop) is an accepted model of clinical audit.All doctors are legally obliged to maintain their professional competence. In addition to completing at least 50 hours of continuing professional development activity per year, each doctor is expected to complete one clinical audit per year.

The Medical Council has produced a number of videos relating to the topic of clinical audit provided by experts in this area, Dr Ian Callanan and Dr Niamh Macey, who provide practical advice in response to frequently asked questions from doctors.

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Dr Ian Callanan

Dr Ian Callanan:  Clinical Audit - Turning Burdens into Blessings (PDF)

This session will explore the challenges and opportunities that the clinical audit component of professional competence requirements can present with helpful tips and techniques for making audits enjoyable. 

Conducting clinical audit 1 - Research, Data, and Info

Conducting clinical audit 1 - Research, Data, and Info

The importance of differentiating research from clinical audit. Clinical Audit is not research.Clinical audit is not about establishing best practice but adhering to best practice.

Conducting clinical audit 2 - Gathering the data

Conducting clinical audit 2 - Gathering the data

The sample size must be determined when undertaking a clinical audit however it is not required to have a large sample size.

Conducting clinical audit 3 - More on gathering the data

Conducting clinical audit 3 - More on gathering the data

What needs to be measured when conducting a clinical audit. Questions need to be unambiguous and objective. Data should be collected for clinical audit in a logical sequence. Planning is key to undertaking a clinical audit.

Getting started 1 - What is clinical audit

Getting started 1 - What is clinical audit

Clinical audit is a practice against the standard. Clinical audit is about improving patient care.

Getting started 2 - Auditing, simple process

Getting started 2 - Auditing - simple process

Clinical audit is a simple, logical and systematic process. Planning is key to a successful audit.

Getting started 3 - How to do an audit

Getting started 3 - How to do an audit

Pick a topic that interests you and an identifiable standard with specific criteria.

Next steps - Concluding Your Audit

Next steps - Concluding your audit

Once an audit is carried out and the findings reviewed, the next step is to manage and maintain the change following the audit.

FAQ - Undertaking a clinical audit if not in practice

FAQ - Undertaking a clinical audit if not in practice

How can a clinical audit be undertaken if a doctor is not in clinical practice or if a doctors only undertakes occasional locum work.