Thursday, October 31, 2013

How to get the most from your clinical audit

Today's guest post comes from Document Capture Co. are specialists in automating data capture. In particular, they have a large amount of experience implementing quick and cost-effective data collection methods for research projects.

How to get the most from your clinical audit

Clinical audits are imperative for the progression and improvement of healthcare standards. During an audit, aspects of the structure, processes and outcomes of care are evaluated against specific criteria, and, where needed, changes are implemented. Measuring quality care in the healthcare industry can prove a challenging a task, and one that must be carried out carefully and effectively, in order to be able use the reports to achieve excellence in healthcare. To ensure your clinical audit is successful in aiding the process of improvement, you must focus on the following points:

Accuracy is essential when attempting to create an effective study. The data collected during your clinical audit must be accurate in order for it to be of any use. You can ensure the information you gather is valid by taking care when deciding which method of data collection you should use for your clinical audit, considering which processes are likely to give you the best chance to gather the information you need.

It is important that throughout your clinical audit you remain efficient, including during your preparations beforehand and your organisation afterward, otherwise information could get lost or misinterpreted, or you could end up blowing your budget or increasing the complicity of it all. While automated data capture could help you to reduce costs and save you time, a performance dashboard will enable you to be organizing the data as you go, helping you to keep on top of and one step ahead of your audit.

Patient involvement
At the center of every clinical audit are the patients that will ultimately benefit from the outcome, so it makes sense to include them in the process. By involving patients in the audit, you are giving them a voice and a greater control over their own situation. Their involvement could better the relationship between patient and doctor as well as help you to collect valuable data for your audit.

No matter the size of your clinical audit, it is likely to be rather complex, and therefore need constant monitoring. It might be that you are relying on a variation of resources, such as other healthcare professionals or simply capital, so it is important that you are able to manage them all simultaneously and effectively. It is likely that you will want to compare your data with that collected from previous audits, so you will need to be able to rely on support to help you manage this big data. A performance dashboard will enable you access for data from all over the world and a unique insight into the data you have collected.

The structure of a clinical audit is constantly improving, but you can ensure your clinical audit is effective and can be used to improve the quality of patient care by looking into the various healthcare data capture solutions available to you.

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