Clinical Audit

What is clinical audit?

Clinical audit is a quality improvement process that seeks to improve patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change.

Clinical audit is a process used by clinicians to monitor service delivery to ensure patients and service users receive the right treatment, at the right time by the the right person.

Audit measures patient care and services against evidence based standards which can result in changes and improvements in patient care. However, Clinical Audit can also demonstrate that no changes are necessary if care is delivered correctly.

Over the last 12 months, Clinical Audit has led many improvements in patient care and service delivery, such as:

  • introduction of new policies and procedures relating to patient care,
  • new and revised training events for staff relating to patient care,
  • improvements in recording patient information both in paper and electronic form,
  • changes to clinical pathways to maximise efficiency of working for staff whilst being more convenient for patients.

A number of service improvements suggested by patients have been introduced this year, most notably improvements to the quality of patient leaflets and offering more services during clinic time to ensure patients have a few visits to hospital as possible as an outpatient.

Clinical audit at MTW

Every year, the Trust undertakes in excess of 350 clinical audits across all specialties. Clinical audits are completed by a variety of Trust staff including nurses, therapists, students, midwives, junior doctors and consultants.

The Annual Clinical Audit Programme contains audits resulting from local issues such as incidents and complaints and nationally set audits from bodies such as The Royal Colleges, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Department of Health.

The Trust has an active Clinical Audit Department, based at Maidstone Hospital, to support staff with all aspects of audit.

If you would like to know more about the Annual Clinical Audit Programme and what the Trust is auditing this year please contact Pat Singleton, Senior Clinical Audit Facilitator on 01622 220279.