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How To Improve The Audit Process?

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Author(s): Harish V Kurup, *Andy McMurtrie, &Steve Sarasin.

Journal: Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0972-978X

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Clinical audit | training | orthopaedics

ABSTRACT
Clinical audit is mandatory in the NHS (National Health Service) in UK and mostly carried out by junior medical staff as part of their training. However there has been growing concern over whether this fulfils its intended purpose. One of the important pitfalls in successful completion of an audit is poor loop closure. This in turn fails to measure the change in local practice and contributes to failure of the system. We audited all audits carried out in our orthopaedic department in the past 5 years to identify the flaws in the system. We found poor loop closure (5%) and failure to change practice based on audit (26%) as the major pitfalls in system. We recommend that junior doctors should be encouraged to do a re-audit and close an existing loop before starting a new topic and that progress on all audits should be discussed in the following meeting. We also suggest periodic audit of the audit process by individual departments.
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