Clinical Audits in Nursing

2135 WordsFeb 17, 20189 Pages
Introduction As the recommendation has been established as best practice this chapter will propose a clinical audit to review the extent to which the recommendation is applied in practice. Practitioners have a responsibility to continually improve their standards of care (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2010). Clinical audits are a valuable tool for professionals to monitor their current practice and promote improvements in care (Benjamin, 2008). What is a clinical audit? A clinical audit is a quality improvement process which aims to improve care through a systematic review of practice against evidenced based criteria, followed by the implementation of change (Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, 2011). There are many different audit cycles to choose from which could be confusing for practitioners (Dixon & Pearce, 2011). The audit cycle pictured below (figure1) was selected as a bases for this project because it is simple to use and emphasises the importance of maintaining improvements. Figure 1 (Benjamin, 2008) Why do a clinical audit? The purpose of a clinical audit is to improve the quality of care in the NHS (Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, 2011). To assist practitioners in changing practice to match the rapidly evolving evidence base guidelines are issued by organisations such as NICE (Fineout-Overholt & Melnyk, 2011). However there is often a gap between recommended practice and current practice which leads to lower quality care (Courtney &
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